The BNP candidate in Lakshmipur 3 seat said there was no environment for a free and fair election in his constituency
Claiming there is no environment for a free and fair election, BNP Publicity Affairs Secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie has urged his party – and Jatiya Oikya Front, in which BNP is a key element – to withdraw from the 11th general elections that is due in two days.
“There is no election environment,” the BNP leader, who is contesting the polls in Lakshmipur 3 constituency, told the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday. “The nation is seeing what is happening. Whether we take part in the election or not, the results will be the same.
“This is why I have advised the BNP election steering committee to boycott the polls on Sunday.”
Annie said he had not been able to campaign in his own constituency due to the “thuggery of the ruling party goons” and “lack of support from the administration.”
“The ruling party goons in the area have been wreaking havoc in my area, and police and the administration have been supporting them,” he said. “I could not campaign in my constituency, even on the last day of campaigning [on Thursday].”
On Monday, a total of 30 people, including Annie, two policemen, and three journalists, were injured when his campaign was attacked, allegedly by local activists of Awami League affiliates, in Shantirhat Bazar area in Lakshmipur sadar upazila.
On information, police rushed to the scene and fired two rounds of blank bullets to bring the situation under control.
He further alleged that his campaign had been attacked several times, yet no action had been taken by the authorities concerned.
“I tried to contact the Lakshmipur returning officer, but he did not answer my call,” Annie alleged. “The police, too, told me not to leave my house.”
However, if BNP decides to remain in the election race, Annie said he would respect it.
“If the party command wants to remain in the election, I will do so – even at the risk of being beaten up and blood being spilled,” he said.
When the Dhaka Tribune contacted Lakshmipur Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer Anjan Kumar Paul to ask about Annie’s allegations, he said: “I have provided him [Annie] with assistance in all issues related to the election. I have always answered his calls, and have called back if I missed it. So his allegations are not true.”
When the Dhaka Tribune contacted Lakshmipur Superintendent of Police ASM Mahtab Uddin on the phone, he said he was busy in a meeting and asked this correspondent to call him back.