Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Monday termed Indian state minister for home affairs G Kishan Reddy’s February 9 comment audacious and disrespectful to the people of Bangladesh.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, against the backdrop of Reddy’s comment that half of Bangladeshis would leave the country if India assured them of nationality in India, criticised the government as they did not protest the Indian state minister’s comment.
He said that Bangladesh earned its independence by defeating Pakistan in a nine-month-long war at the cost of supreme sacrifices of millions of people and honour of countless mothers and sisters not to get citizenship of India.
In the past one decade, to remain in power, the ruling Awami League had bowed their heads so low that they are not able to speak against those who showed disrespect to the countrymen.
Referring to prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s Saturday comment she made in a joint meeting of ruling AL’s parliamentary and local government nomination board meeting at her official residence at Ganabhaban that AL did not consider who cast vote in its favour and who did not, he said that the PM, through this statement, had publicly acknowledged that she did not need people’s mandate to become PM or form government. Instead, what she needed was the dark of the night and law enforcement agencies, he added.
Such shocking remark is disrespectful to the people and their right to vote, he said, adding that it was only possible for the head of the government and her party Awami League, because they fear free and fair elections which might contribute to the her ouster from power.
The recent elections where electronic voting machines were used to cast votes were allegedly marred by low turnout, vote rigging, violence, and muscle flexing and forced voting in favour of AL candidates, besides complications with EVMs.
In February 1 elections to the two city corporations in Dhaka, the total turnout in the Dhaka North was 25.30 per cent and in the South 29.02 per cent.
In January 13 by-election to the Chattogram 8 constituency, less than 23 per cent of the voters turned up to cast their votes and more than 80 per cent of the votes were cast in favour of the AL candidate.
Rizvi, terming the EVM as ‘a machine for stuffing ballots safely and peacefully in a hazardless way, said that the chief election commissioner had humiliated the people by using EVMs as they did not need people to vote for them but as only a means to misappropriate crores of taka of the state in the name of buying EVM.
Referring to CEC Nurul Huda’s Sunday comment that the city elections witnessed low turnout as the candidates, without going to people, staged showdowns on streets, Rizvi termed the CEC as the current ‘government’s shameless CEC’ and added that if the country was a civilised one, the election commission would have made an effort to bring back people’s faith and confidence on the election commission and the electoral system.
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