Though sceptical about fair polls, BNP leaders have said they are determined to stay in the race until the last minute under any circumstances no matter what will be the results.
The party leaders accuse the ruling party of trying to demoralize opposition activists and confusing voters by raising questions whether BNP will quit the polls halfway through as they did during the last city election on April 28.
BNP senior leaders are also very confident of winning the election in maximum municipalities with big margins if it is held fairly.
They believe people will ventilate their grievances against the government through casting their votes for the sheaf of paddy if there is no disruption and intimidation.
The BNP leaders said they will also accept the election results if the votes are not rigged.
Meanwhile, BNP central monitoring cell, set up in BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, constantly contacting their candidates and their main agents and giving them necessary directions to ensure the presence of voters, polling agents and check vote fraud.
The monitoring cell directed their all local units to keep at least one party man at each polling station to capture pictures and record videos of any irregularity, trouble, attack and other untoward incidents through mobile phones and send those immediately to the cell.
Contacted, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “We’ll have a landslide victory in the election bagging most of the municipalities with a wide margin if the election is held fairly.”
He, however, said they are highly sceptical about fair balloting as the ruling party has kept on flexing their muscles in every municipality due to inaction of the Election Commission and local administration.
As his attention was drawn to Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s comment doubting whether BNP will stay in the polls until the end of voting, Fakhrul said, “Our chairperson has already said we’ll be there in the election battle firmly. We won’t retreat under any circumstances, even though the ruling party men resort to terrorism and manipulation.”
He also criticised the ruling party men for raising such question saying this is negative politics. “Their main objective is to confuse and dishearten voters.”
BNP boycotted the 10th parliamentary elections held on January 5, 2014 and withdrew candidates from Dhaka and Chittagong city corporation polls halfway through this year, alleging widespread rigging by ruling party men.
BNP vice chairmen Abdullah Al Noman said though BNP candidates and central leaders cannot carry out election campaign properly due to attacks, harassment and obstruction by the ruling party men, voters will cast their ballots for the sheaf of paddy if they can go to polling stations.
He, however, said the attitude of the ruling party, administration and the EC suggests that there is no possibility of any fair election. “But we hope the good sense will prevail upon the government and the EC to hold the city polls in a credible manner.”
Mentioning that the government will be the biggest loser if the polls are rigged, Noman said, “We’ll only lose polls if the ruling party resorts to manipulation and machination. But, the government and the EC will lose its credibility and acceptability in every way.”
Noman said they will gracefully accept the results if the election is held in a credible manner.
Talking to UNB, BNP joint secretary general M Shahjahan, the member secretary of BNP’s monitoring cell, said they have completed all the necessary preparations, including appoint of their polling agents, for the voting.
Claiming that people and media are their main power, Shahjahan said they are also taking all-out preparations to thwart the government’s any plot to snatch the victory of BNP candidates. “Our main target is to ensure the presence of a significant number of voters at every polling station.”