BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul said BNP would take part in the upcoming city elections of Sylhet, Rajshahi, and Barishal only to expose the true identity of Awami League. His remark proved that the hypothesis of political analysts was wrong.
The BNP secretary general said this on Wednesday while addressing the press where he brought allegation of vote rigging in Gazipur city polls. The question remains unanswered whether BNP decided to join the elections only to expose AL or it has other intentions. But, before we solve the math, let us focus on the recent local elections.
According to media reports, BNP mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker said on June 26, ‘My agents were driven out of the polling centers and the men of Chhatra League and Jubo League stuffed ballots and cast fake votes since morning. Therefore, I requested the Election Commission to stop the voting.’
Just a few days ago, AL-backed candidate Talukdar Abdul Khalek became the mayor defeating BNP-backed candidate Nazrul Islam Manju by 67,946 votes in Khulna City Corporation polls. When the Election Commission found irregularities in three polling centers, it stopped voting in those centers. However, there was no news of violence reported in the center. In the neighboring country India, a similar election took place in West Bengal. 13 people died due to violence in the local government panchayat elections in West Bengal. In KCC polls, the voting turnover was 62.19 percent. After the election, BNP rejected the results of the election by accusing it a rigged election.
Voting in nine centers was stopped due to irregularities in GCC polls. There was no incident of violence in those centers. EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said due to incidents like ballot box and paper snatching, voting in nine centers was stopped.
Relying on the latest information, let us scrutinize the Gazipur City Corporation polls. On Wednesday morning, voting of 416 polling centers was announced. AL mayor candidate Jahangir Alam bagged 4,00,010 votes while his rival BNP-candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker got 1,97,611 votes. AL candidate remained ahead in the race by a margin of 2,02,399 votes.
If we do the math, we will find that the voters` turnover was 56.9877 percent in GCC polls. Eight hours or 480 minutes were fixed for casting votes. If we multiply 480 minutes with the number of polling centers (416), we will get 12,97,440 in total. So, for casting each vote, it took 2.08 minutes.
In the local government election, the contesting candidates usually bring more voters to the center for their own profit. But due to having more outside voters than the local people in Gazipur, maybe many voters left the area. Especially the garment workers and workers of different industrial factories who left the Gazipur area could not come to cast the votes. Compared to Khulna, the vote has been cast less in Gazipur because the number of labor-intensive industries like garment industry in Gazipur is much higher than Khulna.
Local administration sources said that voting was done fairly and peacefully. Since the last election campaign, the law enforcement agencies were deployed on the field. More than 15,000 members of BGB, RAB, Police, APBN, and Ansar were present on the day of the election. Along with regular patrolling of the law enforcement agencies, 57 election observers in 57 constituencies have been deployed in the election areas by the EC. There were also many foreign observers. Local observer and local government expert Dr. Tofail Ahmed said on a television interview after Gazipur City Corporation election that Awami League candidate Jahangir Alam got huge public support. No one seems to be taking any of the allegations seriously which were made by BNP except one and two countries. Some deviated leftist, talk show specialists, some media want to hinder our progress and are promoting untruth and half-truth against us. Experts say that, it is impossible to make huge rigging wherever there are many contesting candidates. The ruling party gets little benefit in the election, but it obviously cannot make them win in such a large margin. People can understand it now, so if BNP speaks of rigging in the election, their popularity will reduce.
It is being said by BNP that the ruling party has created a huge rift in Gazipur and Khulna City elections. Senior joint Smsecretary general of BNP Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has always said that the illegal government is arranging the farce polls in order to stay in power. After that, why BNP has decided to nominate Mujibur Rahman Sarwar instead of Barisal`s current mayor Ahsan Habib Kamal for the polls! Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul got the nomination in Rajshahi and Ariful Haque Chowdhury in Sylhet. Why do they want to go to the polls under the `illegal government`? An audio record published in social media shows Major (retd) Mizan was talking. He wants some courageous boys from Gazipur local leaders. Maj. Mizan said to bring those boys to Gulshan or Uttara. He later told the leaders to train them. BNP leader Major (retd) Mizan has already been arrested for planning sabotage.
In the Gazipur City Corporation election, the news has circulated in the social media that the fugitive BNP leader has nominated physically unfit Hasan Uddin Sarkar, instead of the present Mayor of Gazipur, with a huge amount of money. In the case of finalizing the nomination of Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, instead of Barisal`s current mayor Ahsan Habib Kamal, the same incident took place. The nomination trade of BNP`s fugitive leader is being published in the social media. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other leaders are also taking the profit of this nomination trade. They are leaving the tested and devoted leaders and activists behind and nominating the rich people for their personal profits. After knowing the certain defeat, they are nominating their leaders and activists for the election. It seems that this nomination trade will continue for one to two years. This trade is expected to continue till the next parliamentary elections, upazila elections and the upcoming Union Parishad elections.