The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Tuesday demanded reshuffle of field administration for ensuring a level playing field ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections rescheduled for December 30.
In five letters to the commission, the main opposition party also demanded punitive actions against the Election Commission secretary, its election management department-2 joint secretary, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner and deputy police commissioner of the respective zone over the Naya Paltan incident occurred on November 14.
The commission dismissed the demand for field administration reshuffle saying that the commission would investigate complaints if any submitted against any particular public servant, said commission secretary Helaluddin Ahemd.
A BNP delegation led by its joint secretary Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal handed over to the commission secretary the letters signed by its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addressed to chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
BNP demanded immediate cancellation of appointment of retired and serving secretary-level officials as mentors for deputy commissioners in 45 districts.
Talking to reporters at the Nirbachan Bhaban, Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said that the Cabinet Division on November 8 issued a notification appointing 45 retired and serving secretary-level officials as mentors for deputy commissioners for implementing the Vision 2021, the priority projects taken by the prime minister, and the development projects.
He said the mentors were appointed on the day the election schedule was announced.
‘We firmly believe that the appointment of mentors will blatantly influence the parliamentary elections and create scope of undue influence over the returning officers,’ the letter reads.
The 64 deputy commissioners are the returning officers in the 11th parliamentary elections.
In another letter, BNP demanded action against the four officials, including commission joint secretary Farhad Ahammad Khan who signed a commisison letter sent to the inspector general of police on November 13 for enforcement of the electoral code of conduct.
A day after the deadline for submission of forms for ruling Awami League’s nominations, the commission issued the directives to the police chief, the letter said.
In the letter, BNP alleged that the commission secretary earlier defined gathering of nomination seekers and their supporters in front of BNP office as a violation of the code.
‘EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed’s misleading remarks in the media and DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah’s remarks were instigation for the November 14 incident,’ the letter read.
On November 14, BNP activists and police clashed when the law enforcement agencies obstructed a procession of BNP activists in front of its central office at Naya Paltan during collection of nomination forms by its aspirants.
In another letter, BNP alleged that a drone was seen flying over the BNP office on November 15 intimidating BNP leaders and activists during the collection and submission of forms by nomination seekers.
BNP asked the commission to take measures to stop such activities.
In another letter, BNP alleged that the returning officers were briefed at the Prime Minister’s Office on November 13 after the chief election commissioner briefed them on the same day.
BNP said holding meeting with the returning officers at the Prime Minister’s Office without the commission’s permission after the announcement of election schedule was a clear violation of the Representation of the People Order 1972.
The party demanded legal actions against the responsible officials in this regard.
The party requested the commission to collect CCTV footage of the prime minister’s office on the day to investigate the allegation.
About the allegation, the commission secretary said that the commission was not aware of the incident and it would investigate the allegation.
In another letter, BNP demanded transfer of secretaries of the Election Commission, public administration and home ministries and other ministries relating to the commission and reshuffle of the police headquarters and field administration.
It demanded withdrawal of all divisional commissioners, deputy inspectors general of police and metropolitan police commissioners across the country for the sake of free, fair and neutral elections.
It demanded posting and promotions of deprived qualified officials.
About the appointment of 45 secretaries including the commission secretary as mentor for deputy commissioners, Helaluddin told reporters that there was nothing to worry as the cabinet division already suspended the order on November 13.
About BNP’s allegation against him, the commission secretary said that he conveyed the commission’s decision only as its spokesperson.
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