'Bangladesh and the US have a friendly relationship. We have to be cautious so as not to damage this relationship'
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said the upcoming 11th national election will be held in a free and fair manner.
"The election will be held according to the constitution," said the minister, who is also general secretary of the ruling Awami League, while addressing reporters during an inspection of the Dhaka-Bhanga expressway in Kolakandi, Keraniganj on Friday. "It is our duty. We do not need anyone's advice on the issue."
Obaidul also said the Election Commission (EC) will play an autonomous and authoritative role in the holding of the national election.
In a meeting at the National Press Club on Thursday, US Ambassador in Dhaka Mercia Bernicat said the Gazipur City Corporation election had several incongruities.
"Polling agents were barred or detained during the election," said Bernicat. "People were also stopped from going to the centres, or someone else cast their votes in front of them."
She further said: "During the Gazipur city polls, the EC halted votes in nine centres. If the inconsistencies are true, we hope the government will investigate them and take necessary steps."
Bernicat hoped the inconsistencies would be tackled before the national election.
Reacting to Bernicat's comments, Obaidul said: "Bangladesh and the US have a friendly relationship. We have to be cautious so as not to damage this relationship."
He continued: "We want this friendship to stay intact. We never made any irresponsible comments about any country's internal matters."