BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has expressed his hope that the deployment of the army will bring a change to the present election situation.
Rizvi made the remark at a press briefing on Saturday, two days prior to the deployment of the armed forces for the 11th parliamentary election.
The army is scheduled to be deployed on December 24, six days prior to the election slated for December 30, and will continue to work until January 2, reports bdnews24.com.
The army will not have judicial power during the period, as the BNP had demanded, but will work under the civil administration.
“The armed forces are the symbols of our sovereignty and independence. The people in the country trust them. The criminals won’t be able to rig the polls in the middle of the night if they are deployed, the people believe,” Rizvi said.
“The opposition knew the army personnel will be able to uphold the trust people put on them and thus, has been demanding their deployment. But the government has been dillydallying on the issue and the army is yet to be deployed.”
“Now they are saying they will deploy the army on December 24. I believe the people will regain their trust and a fair election will be ensured,” said Rizvi.
The BNP has been complaining that its candidates and those of its allies are being prevented from campaigning. They have also complained that police are nabbing their leaders and activists.
The BNP hopes that the police will have their authority curbed once the army is deployed, Rizvi said.
Rizvi also spoke about the shutdown of Twitter and Facebook accounts for spreading false propaganda on the opposition.
“As I said earlier, the deputy press secretary from the Prime Minister’s Office oversaw it. They opened fake websites and Facebook pages and disseminated the statements of top BNP leaders after tweaking them,” he said.
“The Awami League doesn’t have the courage to adopt honest politics. That is why we have been demanding army deployment.”
Leaders and activists from Naogaon, Barishal, Bhola, Pirojpur, Dhaka, Bogura, Lakshmipur, Narshingdi, Moulvibazar, Meherpur, Satkhira, Kushtia, Pabna, Sirajganj, Tangail, Dinajpur, Jamalpur, Magura, Chattogram, Noakhali, Patuakhali, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Cumilla, Rajshahi, Faridpur, Rajbari, Jashore, Sylhet, Habiganj, Sunamganj, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Chuadanga have been arrested and prevented from running election campaigns, said Rizvi.
“There have been 258 cases filed as of December 19. The case details show 42,663 identified suspects and 36,883 unidentified suspects in the cases. At least 6,675 leaders and activists were arrested and four have been killed,” said Rizvi.