The December 30 polls contestants of Left Democratic Alliance, giving testimony during a ‘mass hearing’ in Dhaka on Friday, said no free and fair election was possible under the incumbent government.
They called for immediate political dialogue to hold re-election to the 11th parliament under a caretaker government and urged the LDA central leaders to launch a movement to press home the demands.
The left democratic politicians also demanded cancellation of the incumbent Election Commission as it facilitated the ruling parties’ ‘farcical victory’ by staging the polls marred by rampant ballot stuffing and intimidation.
Most of the ballots were stuffed in favour of ruling alliance candidates at night prior to the polling day and polling agents of opposition candidates were either not allowed into the centres or driven away immediately after they entered, they alleged.
They also shared how they were deprived of justice by local election officials despite formal complaint about election code violation by ruling party candidates and their activists.
Over 125 out of 147 LDA candidates who vied for 131 constituencies across the country participated in the hearing organised by LDA at National Press Club auditorium.
Dhaka 12 contestant and Ganosamhati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki said ‘boat’ symbol campaigners carrying out ballot stuffing openly drove out all his polling agents from the voting centres before December 30 noon.
Bogura 3 contestant and Biplabi Workers Party leader Liakat Ali said his campaigners were assaulted by ‘plough’ symbol campaigners stuffing ballots at a voting centre on December 29.
He said his mother also could not cast her vote as she refused to cast vote for ‘boat’.
Narsingdi 4 contestant and Communist Party of Bangladesh assistant general secretary Sazzad Jahir Chandan said that district administration turned a blind eye when he complained against Awami League activists who carried out regular showdown brandishing sharp weapons (ramda) to terrorise voters.
Kushtia 3 contestant and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal leader Shafiur Rahman Shafi said that local police officer-in-charge hampered his electioneering several times saying that none but ‘boat’ candidate had permission for campaign.
Bogura 6 contestant Aminul Farid complained that local police tried to influence selection of opposition polling agents.
Chattogram 10 contestant and Ganosamhati leader Syed Mohammad Hasan Maruf alleged that he was shown to have got zero vote although reports from voting centres said otherwise.
LDA contestants for the constituencies where polls were held using electronic voting machines complained that voters were denied voting right as ruling party activists were controlling the EVMs.
Khulna 2 contestant and labour leader HM Shahdat Hossain said only 17 per cent votes were cast through EVMs in his centre as ruling party activists terrified the voters the previous night.
Rangpur 3 contestant and BSD-Marxist leader Anwar Hossen Bablu said he was compelled to visit polling centres on foot as district administration did not allow him vehicle pass on December 30.
Gazipur 4 contestant and Krishak Samiti leader Manabendra Deb said voters of Khodadia Government Primary School voting centre failed to cast vote as their ballots were stuffed the previous night.
He said that he was shown to have got zero vote at Ulushora voting centre although his polling agent counted 45 votes.
Saikat Mollick, chief polling agent for Pabna 1 contestant Zulhasnain Babu, said that his polling agents found local AL leaders inside a number of voting centres locked from outside the night prior to the polling day.
Bagerhat 2 contestant Khan Sekandar Ali, Jhenaidah 2 contestant Assadul Islam, Chattogram 11 contestant Apu Das Gupta, Sunamganj 2 contestant Niranjan Das Khokon, Dhaka 6 contestant Abu Taher Bokul, Moulavibazar 2 contestant Prasanta Deb Chhana, Dinajpur 4 contestant Reazul Islam, among 100 LDA candidates, said they got no response from local election officials despite formal complaints.
Chaired by LDA coordinator and CPB general secretary Mohammad Shah Alam, BSD general secretary Khalequzzaman, BSD-Marxist leader Subhrangshu Chakrabartty, BWP general secretary Saiful Huq, United Communist League leader Mosharraf Hossain Nannu, Ganatantrik Biplabi Party general secretary Mushrefa Mishu and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Andolan leader Hamidul Haque were present during the hearing.
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