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Adarsha Dhaka Andalon demands cancellation of city polls

EmajAdarsha Dhaka Andolan, a pro-BNP group of professionals, yesterday demanded the cancellation of city polls in Dhaka and Chittagong and resignation of the Election Commission.

Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, convenor of the organization, made the call at a media briefing at National Press Club in the capital yesterday, a day after the polls.

Prof Emajuddin, also a former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, said the city polls can only be compared with the January 5 election and that the polls were rejected by the people.

“We have demanded the resignation of the Election Commission for the sake of national interest,” he added.

Shawkat Mahmud, member secretary of the organization, termed the three city polls ‘a great scandal’ in the history of the nation.

“The entire process of the polls has turned into a garbage due to the arbitrariness of the Election Commission, administration, law enforcing agencies, and ruling party cadres—Chhatra League and Juba League,” he said.

He said they have already rejected the ‘farcical polls’ and demanded the resignation of the entire Election Commission, and that the city polls should be cancelled.

“We hoped that the commission would hold the polls in a free and fair manner but they simply put out the light of our hope,” he said.

He also alleged that their nominated polling agents were not allowed to enter 90 per cent of the polling stations.

Shawkat Mahmud rejected the ruling party allegation that their election boycott was pre-planned and said if the allegation was true then BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia would not have participated in the electioneering risking her life.

“It is now clear that the national election cannot be held under Sheikh Hasina government as city polls could not be held in a free and fair way keeping Hasina the chief executive of the government,” Mahmud said.

Among others, Prof Mahbub Ullah, journalist Mahfuzulla, poet Abdul Hye Sikder, Quader Goni Chowdhury, and Jahangir Alam Prodhan were present at the briefing.