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‘Nurul Huda also took money for his treatment from EC’

Criticising chief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda’s remarks, election commissioner (EC) Mahbub Talukder has said, “The CEC has adopted a dirty path against him citing about the expenses of his treatment being vindictive for his differences of opinion.”

He made the remarks in a statement sent to the mass media on Friday.

In his statement, Mahbub Talukder said, “It’s my fundamental right to get proper medical treatment for my illness as an election commissioner. I’m still alive owing to treatment. But, the CEC has adopted a dirty path against me citing about the expenses of my treatment being vindictive for my differences of opinion about elections.”

He pointed out that on January 27 last, CEC KM Nurul Huda at a press conference at the Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka mentioned that the expenses of his annual medical treatment was Tk 30 lakh to Tk 40 lakh. “But, he didn’t mention about the real expenses.”

Addressing the CEC, Mahbub Talukder said in his statement that “mentioning me as a ‘diseased person,’ he (CEC) said sometime I stay at ICU and sometime at CCU. But, none can stay either at ICU or CCU if he wishes so. I feel it is necessary to apprise the mass media about it in detail.”

“In fact, I (Mahbub Talukder) have been suffering from prostate cancer since my appointment as the Election Commissioner. Cancer had spread to different parts of my body. Later, I availed medical treatment in Singapore and India’s Chennai. A medical board comprising four physicians of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital approved me to avail treatment unanimously examining my physical condition twice. My treatment expenses were carried out as per the treatment rules for the ECs. However, I didn’t go abroad for treatment in the past two years officially. Rather, I went to the United States for treatment entirely at my own expenses in the last two years. All the incumbent ECs and retired ECs take treatment costs from the commission as per the existing rules. KM Nurul Huda himself also took money from the Election Commission for his treatment.”

At a view exchange meeting with journalists at the Media Centre of Nirbachan Bhaban at Agargaon in the capital on Thursday morning, CEC Nurul Huda said, “Mahbub Talukder is a diseased person. In fact, he is sick. Sometimes he stays at ICU and sometimes at CCU. He went Singapore and India for treatment. The EC pays as much as Tk 30 lakh to 40 lakh for his treatment annually.”