BNP WON''T STEP ASIDE FROM BHOLA BYPOLL: DELWAR

BNP WON''T STEP ASIDE FROM BHOLA BYPOLL: DELWAR


Opposition BNP has said it will not stay away from the by-election to Bhola-3 parliamentary constituency, but it won''t accept the result of any stage-managed (sajano) election, reports UNB.
The party also cautioned the present government that it will have to face the consequences like the agitation that was staged by the then opposition Awami League against the BNP government over Magura by-election.
BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain spoke of the party''s stance while addressing a press briefing at the party''s Nayapaltan central office on Friday over the latest situation on Bhola-3 by-election scheduled for April 24.
He rejected the reported remarks of the ruling party leader Tofail Ahmed that BNP is looking for pretexts to stay away from the Bhola-3 by-election.
Delwar said the BNP candidate will win the by-election if it is held in free, fair and neutral manner amid peaceful environment without rigging and interference of the government. "Why shall we step aside from the by-election? The BNP candidate had won from Bhola-3 in the general election on December 29, 2008 as has been proved through the High Court verdict."
He said they also want to take the election as test case, but a terrorism-free congenial atmosphere would have to be ensured for the election to be held in fair and impartial manner.
In this regard, he said adequate number of foreign election observers will have to be invited to monitor the by-election and to ensure that journalists can perform their professional duty neutrally.
Recalling the Awami League''s agitation against the BNP government over Magura by-election, Delwar said the ruling party should not think that a similar scenario may not come about over the Bhola-3 by-election.
He said the AL had walked out and resigned from parliament centering the Magura by-election.
The BNP secretary general demanded of the Election Commission to take immediate steps for preventing terrorism by outsiders in the Bhola-3 constituency, creating an atmosphere so that voters can exercise their franchise freely without any fear and deploying army in the constituency.
He also asked the EC to do whatever is necessary for holding a free, fair and neutral election as it has enough power to this end.
About the Election Commission''s shifting position over holding Mayoral election to Dhaka City Corporation, Delwar criticized the Election Commission saying that it moves at the dictates of the government.
BNP leaders Mir Nasiruddin, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Abdus Salam, Rafiq Sikder and Faisal Ahmed were also present at the press briefing.

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