Senior civil servants are taking action against BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi for his claim that top officials had “covertly met to help the Awami League retain power by engineering the elections”. Some senior joint secretary-level officials who Rizvi named on Saturday issued a rejoinder on Sunday. Bangladesh Administrative Service Association General Secretary and Water Resources Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar has also served Rizvi with a legal notice.
Advocate AM Amin Uddin, who sent the notice on Kabirs behalf, said Rizvi would be sued if he did not retract the comments within 24 hours.
The BNP has been alleging that the ruling party is using the administration and the law-enforcing agencies to win the Dec 30 parliamentary polls.
On Saturday, Rizvi said at a news conference: “Some controversial and partisan officers in the police and administration have been plotting to help the Awami League to remain in power. They are having secret meetings regularly.”
He claimed such a meeting took place at the third floor conference room at the Officers Club on the night of Nov 20.
A few secretaries, including Kabir, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, Public Administration Secretary Faiz Ahmed, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque, and the high-ups from RAB, police and the Prime Ministers Office were present at the meeting, Rizvi claimed.
He also claimed a committee of six secretaries was formed to rig the vote.
The legal notice refuted the claims as “baseless and wrong”.
“My client is not involved in any conspiracy to rig vote. No such meeting took place on that day,” the lawyer said in the notice, adding the claims have defamed his client.
Secretaries Helal, Faiz and Mohibul have already trashed the claims as “false and misleading”.
Helal on Saturday urged the BNP leaders to stay away from “falsehood”.
Faiz claimed that he did not go to the club on Nov 20 and that he left his office at 8pm to take part in a family event.
Mohibul claimed he did not visit the club on that night, but attended a meeting at a hotel from 6pm to 10pm.
Abu Nayeem Mohammed Maruf Khan, PS to the Prime Ministers Office secretary, and Kazi Nishat Rasul, APS-I to the prime minister, have also issued statements protesting Rizvis claims.
Nishat also criticised the media for publishing Rizvis claims before contacting for comments the people who the BNP leader alleged were in the “secret meeting”.
The BNP earlier had written to the Election Commission seeking removal of a number of top officials, including Faiz, Helal, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, and some deputy commissioners.