AL has no right to interfere in BNP activities: Fakhrul

Ruling out Awami League’s objection to taking interview of its nomination seekers by Tarique Rahman through videoconferencing, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam on Sunday said the ruling party has no right to interfere in their party activities.

“I think they (AL) don’t have any jurisdiction to determine who will take interview of our party (nomination seekers),” he said while talking to reporters at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in the afternoon.Fakhrul alleged that the Election Commission (EC) itself is violating the electoral code of conduct. “They (EC) still couldn’t create an atmosphere for holding a fair election.”

Earlier in the morning, BNP nomination board, comprising party standing committee members, started interviewing its nomination hopefuls to finalise the candidates who will contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets.BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the nomination board through videoconferencing and asked the aspirants various questions.

Reacting to it, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader drew the attention of the Election Commission, saying whether a fugitive convict in two cases can join the election procedures.Later, Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam said they will look into the issue if they get a complaint.Fakhrul said the Election Commission still could not ensure a level-playing field.

He said though the media was supposed to play a neutral role, it is not happening now. “BTV is airing the development activities of the Awami League government without maintaining the neutrality. State-owned Bangladesh Betar is also doing the same thing.”

The BNP leader also alleged that the government has also kept the private TV and radio channels under pressure so that they cannot give the opposition due coverage. “The arrest and harassment of our leaders and activists hasn’t stopped.”

He said their party wants a proper election atmosphere to be created so that all parties can remain in the election race. Fakhrul urged the Commission to take step to stop the arrest of opposition leaders and activists and filing of false cases against them.

Asked what messages they are giving to their nomination seekers during the interview, he said they are asking them to put their all efforts to ensure a fair election, check vote-rigging and capturing of voting centres. On the first day, the party nomination board took interview of 157 candidates of 33 seats under Rangpur division and 368 candidates of 39 seats under Rajshahi division.

source: UNB