Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has launched a scathing attack on the opposition BNP, alleging their boycott of the recent elections stems from fear of defeat. Speaking to Organiser, Khan claimed the BNP’s “various excuses and demands” masked a deeper apprehension about facing the electorate. He pointed to their participation and seat acquisition in 2018 as evidence, contrasting it with the current absence.
“BNP has taken a strategy of boycotting the election with various excuses and demands. They participated in the 2018 election and got some parliamentary seats, but this year they did not participate in the election knowing they would be defeated,” he said.
He said this to the Organiser after visiting the capital’s Moghbazar Ispahani school polling station around noon. He is contesting from the parliamentary seat of this area.
BNP is involved in killing people and arson attacks just as they did in 2014, he said. “People do not want such torture and violence. So they are coming to the polling stations in a festive mood,” he added.
The BNP called a two-day strike nationwide through Sunday, asking people to shun the election.
Bangladesh deployed nearly 800,000 security forces to guard polling booths, and troops were mobilised nationwide to assist in maintaining peace as the nation was hit by several incidents of violence and arson attacks on trains.
Voting for the 12th General Election ended with some stray incidents of violence. Voting in seven of the 42,000 polling stations across 299 seats was also suspended due to irregularities. Despite the cancellation of voting in the Noagaon district following a candidate’s death, the election saw significant participation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League stands to benefit from the absence of a major challenger, potentially securing a fourth consecutive term in office. This puts Hasina on track to become the country’s longest-serving prime minister, surpassing her father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Out of 44 political parties registered with the Election Commission, 18 are out of the electoral race. There are 11,96,89,289 voters— 6,76,09,741 males, 5,89,18,699 females, and 849 transgenders—who have voting rights under 260,856 booths at 42,024 polling stations in the constituencies, according to the Election Commission.