Habibullah Mizan

BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikyafront, an anti-government political platform, keeps on trying its different ploys to make the next parliamentary election questionable by any means, according to political analysts.

After repeated failures in foiling the polls, they are now playing their heart out to make the next election controversial, they mentioned.

According to leading election experts, since BNP high-ups came to know that there was no possibility of winning more than 70 seats in the election, BNP had no interest in contesting the polls. But because of growing pressure from different quarters, both from home and abroad, BNP had to publicly make the announcement of participating in the polls.

BNP sources said BNP policymakers are still seriously considering boycotting the polls after December 10 — the date fixed by the Election Commission for allocating election symbols among candidates.

After getting the election symbol ‘paddy sheaf’, BNP high command may withdraw their candidates from the election race, the sources added.

They will wait till the date as they know if any political party does not join national polls for two consecutive terms, its registration will be cancelled, the BNP sources further said.

Therefore, BNP will not boycott the election before December 10 to keep its registration, disclosed BNP sources.

Most of the BNP leaders opined that, at present, they are now engaged in making a ‘valid’ ground to boycott the polls under different pretexts.

They have started making polls boycotting ground since the announcement of the election schedule as they instantly rejected the date. They also demanded its deferral for at least one month.

BNP delegation several times met the EC to press their demands.

Responding to the plea of BNP-led Oikyafront, EC shifted the polls date to December 30 from December 23.

Political observers thought that after shifting polls date, BNP might not finally boycott the upcoming election exactly as what they did in 2014. But to all quarters’ utter surprise, BNP is making various unconstitutional demands again and again for making election questionable.

Law enforcing agencies were conducting their routine works to arrest the accused persons who were directly involved in petrol bomb attacks and in other various criminal offences. But BNP tried to give political stigma on the issue. During the dialogues with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, they also raised the issue.

The prime minister asked BNP leaders to submit a list of cases filed against their leaders and activists whom they termed ‘innocent’ and the cases ‘politically motivated’. But till now BNP has failed to provide any complete list of the cases and the names of leaders and activists.

Besides, after getting instruction from the government high-ups, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal also ordered the police to stop political arrest and filing of any such case.

But immediately after the instruction, BNP became extremely unruly and at one stage became violent. In a clash at Naya Paltan, BNP set fire on police vehicles and carried out attacks on police personnel.

The apex court has barred some BNP senior leaders, including BNP chief Khaleda Zia, from taking part in the election as they were convicted in several criminal cases. BNP also attempted to give political colour on the court verdict.

After scrutiny of nomination papers, EC has rejected nomination papers of candidates of ruling Awami league and its alliance partners too. But BNP falsely raised their voice against EC saying that EC rejected nomination papers of BNP leaders at the instruction of the government.

Referring to all these issues of BNP, political observers hinted that BNP may finally boycott the next polls after December 10.