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Municipal polls- EC out to stage a farce: Khaleda

46Describing the December 30 municipal polls as an eyewash, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged the government and Election Commission are out to stage a farce in the name of polls. “You’ve seen the elections to Dhaka and Chittagong city corporations, and the same conditions are being created now. Our party men were barred from submitting nomination papers and they are being arrested wholesale so that no one can conduct electioneering,” she said.
Khaleda, a twice-former Prime Minister, came up with the allegations while speaking at a programme at her Gulshan office. The programme was arranged to provide financial assistance to four Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activists who sustained bullet injuries from law enforcers during the BNP-led 20-party’s movement early this year.
Terming the Election Commission worthless and subservient, Khaleda said a free and fair election cannot be expected from it. “This Commission is Hasina’s puppet. You (EC) will be able to escape public wrath as long as Hasina is in power. But where will you go when Hasina will not be there in power? Don’t forget you’ll have to face action for the misdeeds you’re committing now. People will rise up one day and won’t spare you.” She alleged ruling party men with the help of police are carrying out various irregularities, including snatching nomination papers and intimidating the opposition candidates.
Claiming that a conspiracy is on to rig votes and ensure victory for the ruling party contestants, the BNP chief said, “We have all the information in our hands about irregularities and evil plans of Awami League to manipulate polls. Don’t think we have no connection to get information. We have got all the information.” Khaleda also alleged that the government is planning to show people its artificial popularity by snatching victory through vote fraud.
“If you want to truly prove your popularity quit power and hold a national election,” she challenged.