Staff Correspondent: When most of the parties, including the BNP, expressed their reluctance to participate in the 12th National Assembly elections, relatively small and new parties were cordially invited to the elections. Independent candidates were also encouraged.
The running of the rulers to bring them to the election was also worth seeing.
But as the polls are getting closer, disrespect for these parties and independent candidates is increasing.
Instead of the festive atmosphere around the elections, there are various situations like violations of election code of conduct including attacks and cases. In this situation, questions have also been raised about the role of the Election Commission. Minor parties and independent candidates have complained of not being given equal opportunities. Election experts say, such image will not bring anything good in the polling field.
According to the information, two people were killed and hundreds of activists and supporters were injured in at least half a hundred clashes in 15 districts in the last one week after the election campaign started. These clashes took place in several districts including Feni, Faridpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Jessore, Moulvibazar, Madaripur, Bogra, Brahmanbaria, Chittagong, Comilla, Munshiganj, Naogaon, Pabna. As of last Sunday, 46 incidents of attacks and clashes have been reported in the last six days alone. And about 72 incidents have been found in various sources. It was found that independent candidates were attacked by boat candidates in 31 places and 41 attacks were on opposition party workers and supporters.
At the same time, the candidates gave a thumbs up to the code of conduct. Apart from the attacks, they also blocked roads, election rallies, election offices on roads, electric poles and pasted posters on walls, which is a violation of election code of conduct. The Election Commission (EC) has given grief to more than two hundred candidates on these allegations. Some candidates have been nominated more than once. But the question of the affected candidates is EC will remain only in shock or will go into action?
A total of 1,896 candidates are competing in this election, including 27 political parties. Out of these 347 independent candidates. Most of the independents are associated with Awami League politics. Many of the parties that have already called for elections have started to open their mouths. Trinamool BNP Secretary General Taimur Alam Khandaker told, “Trinamool BNP candidates across the country are being harassed by ‘MP forces’, posters being pulled down in the dark of night. Three complaints have been made to the Judicial Inquiry Committee from my seat.” He raised the question, “Will the Election Commission just mourn or go into action?” We are monitoring the matter. Then we will present everything in front of the nation by holding a press conference. Kalam Mahmud, head of the party’s election management committee cell, said that till Sunday, there were 30 incidents of attacks on their party’s leaders and workers across the country.
Earlier, on the afternoon of December 22, while campaigning in Pitalganj of Rupganjupazila, Narayanganj-1 candidate Taimur said, “I don’t see any possibility of a fair election.” The situation has gone out of control. If action is not taken, the prime minister will not be able to keep his promise of fair elections.
Secretary General of Jatiya Party Mujibul Haque Chunnu told, “I am doing mass communication in Kishoreganj-3 (Karimganj-Tarail) in my constituency. All over the country we have received complaints of our candidates, supporters, workers being obstructed, posters being torn down. I can’t say how many it is now. Department or election monitoring cell can say.
Jatiya Party office secretary Abdur Razzak Khan told, “We are constantly receiving news from all over the country that there are incidents of attacks on our candidates. As many as 12 major incidents have occurred. Three people were injured in these incidents and are in the hospital.
In an election meeting organized by the Upazila Awami League at the Fazil Madrasa ground at RajapurDakbungo intersection in Jhalkathi on December 21, Muhammad Shahjahan Omar, who left the BNP and joined the Awami League as a candidate for Jhalkathi-1 constituency (Rajapur-Kathalia), said, ‘This election, what election is going on, it is a No election.’
Bangbir Quader Siddiqui, president of Krishak Sramik Janata League, has been a candidate for Tangail-8 (Sakhipur-Basail) constituency in Pathasabha in Inderjani area of Sakhipurupazila of Tangail on Friday. He said, ‘The election is not going very well. It’s like a lazy feeling.’ He further said to the nominated candidate of Awami League, Anupam Shahjahan, ‘If I didn’t get a boat, then it is far from standing in front of me, I couldn’t even lie down in front of me. You don’t show the heat of the boat. But now the boat has no anchor, no platform, no water.
Deaths occurred in Madaripur and Mymensingh after campaigning for the 12th election. Supporter of independent candidate killed in Madaripur-3 Constituency Eskendar Khan is a member of Awami League ward number 8 of Lakshmipur Union of Madaripur. KalkiniUpazila Awami League president of Eskendra who died last Saturday was a supporter of independent candidate Tahmina Begum. Tahmina Begum is a member of reserved women’s seat in the 11th Parliament. Awami League’s Central Publicity and Publication Affairs Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap is the candidate for the boat. And last Tuesday in Mymensingh-4 Constituency at around 9:30 PM in Sirta Konapara village of upazila independent candidate Md. A man named Rafiqul Islam (52) was killed by his brother and nephew due to a dispute over setting up an election campaign center of Aminul Haque.
The data review also showed that Bangladesh Congress candidate Ashraful Hossain Alam alias Hero Alam was attacked by boat supporters while campaigning in Bogra-4 constituency on Sunday. Jahangir Sikder Joton, Jahangir Sikder Joton, the chief election coordinator of Jatiya Party, has accused of tearing down the poster of Jatiya Party candidate Alamgir Sikder Loton in Narayanganj-2 constituency on 22 December. Last Wednesday, Municipal Chhatra League general secretary Sheikh Manjur-e-Maola snatched the poster of Ferozur Rahman, who resigned as the upazila parishad chairman and became an independent candidate in Brahmanbaria-3 constituency. Sadek Hossain Bhuiyan, president of Gangail Union Chhatra League of Nandail, was beaten up with sticks by supporters of the boat for distributing leaflets in favor of an independent candidate in Mymensingh-9 constituency. Shots were fired at the house of a chairman of Union Parishad (UP), a supporter of Awami League’s independent candidate, in Satkania of Chittagong-15 constituency. The incident took place in IchamatiAlinagar area of West Dhemsha Union of the upazila last Wednesday night. The attack on the convoy of Yakub Ali, an independent candidate of Jessore-5 seat, resulted in the explosion of multiple cocktails. Awami League candidate Shamim Haque and independent candidate A. K. A fight between supporters of Azad took place in OmediaBattala market of Gopalpur union of Sadar upazila.
According to the information, 11 people were injured in a clash between supporters of Awami League candidate Junaid Ahmed and Awami League independent candidate Shafiqul Islam at Satpukuria market of Itali Union of Upazila on Wednesday night in Natore-3 Constituency. Khaled Shaukat Ali, independent candidate of Shariatpur-2 constituency and member of Jubo League presidium, complained that his supporters were being prevented from campaigning and posters were being torn. A local Awami League leader was arrested in a case filed against the supporters of the independent candidate of the Netrakona-3 seat by the supporters of the Awami League candidate. Independent candidate Prof. Abu Sayeed raised the complaint of obstruction in Pabna-1 constituency.
Badiul Alam Majumdar, editor of Citizen for Good Governance (Sujan) told, “The government has called the opposition parties in the elections.” Now it is again obstructing the election campaign. Only they can say that this is an election game and what is the end result or what is the plan of the government. However, what is happening in the name of elections in the country does not fall within the grammar of elections.
Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah, chairman of the National Election Monitoring Council (JANIPOP), said, “Zak’s party has withdrawn its nomination.” Apart from Awami League, most of the independent candidates, including Trinamool BNP, BNM, Supreme Party, who are participating in the elections within the government’s strict rules, are also thinking of boycotting the elections. If that is the case, without their names on the ballot, this election will be limited to Awami League, their individual and national parties. It will seriously question the acceptability of the election.
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