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BNP demands GCC reelection.

News Desk BNP rejected Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election results and demanded reelection, alleging neo vote fraud. Awami League rejected the rejection, calling it a perverse pretext. The Awami League candidate, Jahangir Alam, was declared elected in the GCC elections held Tuesday, defeating his nearest-rival Hasan Uddin Sarker of BNP by a huge margin. Jahangir bagged 400,010 votes while Hasan got 197,611 in his share in 416 centres out of 425-in what is seen as a reversal of electoral fortune in comparison with the previous polls that had given the opposition party a sweep. Returning officer Rakib Uddin Mandol announced the unofficial results at a press briefing at Banga Taj Auditorium in the city on Wednesday noon. The voting in nine polling centres, including Khartoil Mansur Ali Adarsha School, West Joydebpur Madinatul Ulum Madrasah, Bhogra Government Primary School and Daffodil Kindergarten-2, was postponed following violence, booth capturing and ballot stuffing, the Election Commission and local administration said.

"It's only a mockery in the name of election in Gazipur. They've invented a new tactic of vote rigging and applied it," said BNP Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in party reaction at a press conference in Dhaka Wednesday. "We turn down with hate the Gazipur city election results and demand reelection," he told the newspersons at the press conference at party chairperson's Gulshan office. Fakhrul came to the conclusion that the GCC polls once again manifested that no fair and credible election can be held under the Awami League. He, however, said their party will join the upcoming Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barishal city polls as part of their party's ongoing movement to unmask the government and the EC and expose their real traits further. On the other side of the political divide, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader termed the BNP rejection of polls results utter disregard for the people of Gazipur and electoral institution. Strongly condemning it he said, "The polls have been held in a free and fair manner, whereas terming the election a fiesta of vote rigging, they (BNP) have inflicted severe insults to the rights of Gazipur people and democratic convention."

Mr Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, came up with the reaction at a press conference organised at party president's Dhanmondi political office in Dhaka. Replying to a query on Fakhrul's reaction, Quader said, "Ask them to make complaints to foreigners--their complaints were neither accepted by the people of Gazipur nor by the Bangladeshis." Through the GCC polls, the people of Bangladesh have again proved that the days of negative politics are over, he observed. In his press address Mirza Fakhrul urged people to take a strong stance against vote rigging in Gazipur. He alleged that the Gazipur election was held in the same manner as in Khulna. "Awami League has taken the election results into its favour by using law enforcers, administration and the Election Commission as it has got isolated from the people," the BNP leader said. He also alleged that the government snatched BNP's victory with the direct help of the EC in Gazipur.

"They're using the state machinery and threatening media to refrain from presenting the facts," he further said. The BNP leader urged the EC to perform its constitutional duty properly and independently. He also urged the voters to go to the polling stations to exercise their democratic rights. Replying to a question, Mirza Fakhrul said they want the EC to be reconstituted as the current Commission has 'completely failed' to perform its duty. He demanded that the government immediately release BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail. Party standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain alleged that their party mayoral candidate's many agents were obstructed from going to polling stations. "Even, some agents were not allowed to come out of their houses." Another party standing committee member, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, said the government has taken an election project. "As part of it, they held the elections in the same style both in Khulna and Gazipur. We must foil this election project to restore democracy."
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Publication:The News Today (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Date:Jun 28, 2018
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