Main opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front top leaders on Friday urged people to wake up for restoration of democracy and release of imprisoned opposition leader Khaleda Zia by exercising their franchise in the 11th parliamentary polls slated for December 30.
The JOF leaders made the call addressing an electioneering rally in Narayanganj on the outskirts of the capital after they faced various obstacles on their way to reach the venue at Sonakanda Stadium of Bandar upazila.
JOF s key component Bangladesh Nationalist Party s secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at the rally said the opposition alliance was not being allowed to hold meeting and rally whereas he said the prime minister was using helicopter with the government s facility conducting polls campaign.
He branded the present government as master of theft and it could also commit theft in polling centres.
So wake up and come out with results of vote , Fakhrul told the big gathering.
He claimed that people were waking up against the ruling party and this was why the government of Sheikh Hasina resorted to repression.
Urging people to make candidates of sheaf of paddy victorious in five seats in Narayanganj, Fakhrul said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia would be freed through their victory in the polls.
Referring to his recent visit to Khaleda Zia in jail, he said that Khaleda told him to free her through movement and wining the elections.
The front s leaders including Mirza Fakhrul faced obstacles on their way to the venue from Dhaka as some people, equipped with sticks, took position near Katchpur in Narayanganj to block their motorcades.
Bamboos and timber were put on the road at Modanpur of Bandar and made fires to block the motorcades.
Receiving information, a team of police, led by Narayanganj superintendent of police Harun-or-Rashid went to the spot and took the JOF leaders to the venue with escort.
The dais was erected on a truck amid obstacles.
JOF s another component Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said undemocratic steps and unruly activities would not be able to stop rally.
Gonoshashthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury urged the voters to go to polling centres on December 30 defying all repression and ensure their votes.
Presided over by Narayanganj city BNP general secretary ATM Kamal, the rally was addressed by the BNP candidates in Narayanganj including Kazi Moniruzzaman Monir of Narayanganj-1 and Nazrul Islam Azad of Narayanganj-2.
Earlier in the morning at a press conference in Dhaka, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that Election Commission, administration and even judiciary had united to destroy democracy and termed the matter not only surprising but also scaring.
Fakhrul raised question if the High Court had the authority to declare disqualified candidature of a candidate during the election time after the Election Commission declared the candidature valid.
He said BNP considered this cancellation of candidatures intentional.
He mentioned that candidature of BNP candidate Tahsina Rushdir Luna in Sylhet 2 was declared disqualified after Election Commission declared her nomination valid.
Fakhrul said Election Commission did not cancel Luna s candidature.
What shall we say about the order of the High Court? Is it as per the law or is it unlawful? he wandered.
He appealed to the apex court to deliver justice saying it would not be proper to declare disqualified the candidature valid candidates.
He said 154 candidates were declared elected without election in the 10th parliament elections of January 5, 2014 and this time also the government was trying to hold unilateral elections to win it uncontested resorting to different tactics using various institutions.
The BNP leader said that an unbelievable situation was created and there was sign of fair elections.
Fakhrul asked Election Commission to carry out their duty without fear and exercise their power vested on them by the constitution.
He also expected that law enforcement agencies engaged in the election duty and army would carry out their responsibility with patriotism and being guided by their charters.
He hoped that army would carry out their duty neutrally in the election.
The secretary general said Election Commission should take action against prime minister for her remarks that BNP-Jamaat was printing fake ballots and urged voters to take BNP s money and vote for boat, electoral symbol of Awami League.
Fakhrul said that they came to know from authentic sources that stuffing of ballot boxes would be made the night before the polling day.
He termed horribly false the allegation of the ruling party that there was a conspiracy hatched in London to kill police officers to foil elections.
At the briefing BNP vice-chairman Shah Mozzem Hossain, who is contesting the election in Munshiganj-1, strongly criticised the ruling party s violence and police inaction in his constituency.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan also spoke at the news conference.