BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Thursday alleged that the Election Commission (EC) is planning to procure Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) spending Tk 26 billion (Tk 2,600 crore) at the 'behest of the government for manipulating' the next polls.
"At the directives of the government, the Election Commission is moving ahead towards the path of election engineering by introducing EVMs in the next national election," said the BNP leader.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, he further said, "The Commission is preparing to use the EVMs in 100 constituencies in the next polls. That's why a plan is underway to procure EVMs spending Tk 26 billion (Tk 2,600 crore) in the first phase."
Despite a strong objection by the 20-party alliance, other political parties, election experts and observers to its use, the BNP leader said, the Commission's hurried decision of procuring the EVMs is ill-motivated one. "We think it's part of the plot against the next general election."
Referring to media reports, Rizvi said the Commission has already procured 2,500 EVMs as per its plan to use the EVMs at a large scale in the 11th parliamentary elections. "The process to buy EVMs further will begin soon."
The BNP leader claimed that many countries, including India, the USA, Finland and Germany, abandoned EVMs as the system can be tampered.
He warned the government and the EC that the country's people will not accept the use of EVMs in the national election as it is a secret digital strategy to snatch people's voting rights.
"We strongly call upon the Election Commission once again to back off from its anti-people decision of using EVMs in the parliamentary elections and all other polls," the BNP leader said.
He also demanded the reconstitution of the Election Commission and the removal of its partisan officials, reports UNB.