Expelled BNP leaders meet Chief Election Commissioner
3 March 2015, Nirapad News: Two expelled leader of BNP met the chief election commissioner over the upcoming polls to the bifurcated Dhaka City Corporation. Former whip Shahidul Haque Jamal of Barisal and Abu Hena of Rajshahi known as reformist met the CEC on Monday.
The CEC’s Personal Secretary AKM Mazharul Islam said the BNP leaders had taken the DCCs boundary demarcation gazette with them before leaving the EC.
Elections to the city corporations have been on hold since 2007. Now, with all legal hurdles cleared, the EC says it is looking for a suitable time to hold the polls. Hena said they had discussed the DCC polls during the half-hour meeting, but not on behalf of the BNP. He claimed he was still with the party.
BNP Standing Committee member Mahbubur Rahman told the press that he was not aware of any party delegation meeting the CEC. The party has been pressing for a snap election and alleges the DCC polls are aimed at diverting people’s attention from its movement.
Most senior BNP leaders are either in jail or in hiding, while the party chief is staying at her Gulshan office, almost cut off from her supporters.
Hena and Jamal, along with several others, tried to remove Khaleda from the BNP during the 2007 emergency. They were expelled a year later. “I was expelled once but I’ve been with the BNP since 2007,” Hena told the press. He said he had gone to assess whether the polls would be fair. “The CEC assured they would be.”
His visit triggered rumours about him contesting the polls. He, however, said he would make it clear at ‘the right time’. Hena said the BNP was likely to support someone even if it did not announce candidates.
The ruling Awami League, meanwhile, has decided to back business leader Annisul Huq for the post of mayor for DCC North and Sayed Hossain Khokon for South. The BNP’s Mahbubur Rahman said they were yet to decide on the corporation polls. “The parliamentary polls are our top priority,” he added.