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Awami League will face people’s wrath if they try to ‘rig votes’: Khaleda


khaleda“People of Dhaka want change. I’m urging the voters to vote for the right candidates if they want Dhaka’s development,” she said on Friday.

Khaleda resumed her city polls campaign seeking votes for the BNP-backed mayor candidates in Dhaka in the afternoon.

At a street rally, she urged the voters to ‘response sternly’ if the ruling party attempts to ‘rig the votes’ in the polling centres.

The Dhaka South, Dhaka North and Chittagong city corporations will go to elections on Apr 28.

The BNP is supporting Tabith Mohammed Awal for Dhaka North City Corporation mayor and the party’s Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas for Dhaka South.

Khaleda has been campaigning in the capital for the two aspirants since last Saturday.

But her convoy came under attack several times since Sunday. Her Nissan SUV and the vehicles of her security personnel were damaged in the attacks.

Regarding the assaults, the BNP chief said, “Attempts were made to kill me. My security staff were beaten and injured. But such attacks won’t be able to stop me because the people and Allah are with me.”

She set out for Friday’s campaigning around 4:30pm and went to Natun Bazar, Baridhara Bashundhara residential area, Badda, Gulshan Link Road, Gulshan-1 and 2, Banani and Mohakhali DOHS before returning to her Gulshan residence around 9pm.

Khaleda spoke through a loud hailer and gave out leaflets soliciting votes for her party-endorsed Tabith, Abbas and Chittagong City mayor candidate M Manjur Alam.

“The people won’t vote for them (Awami League) anymore,” she said, urging the voters, “Vote for Tabith, Mirza Abbas and Manjur Alam for the sake of democracy to build a terror-free country.”

Leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student affiliate of BNP, took extra measures to protect her, marching and riding motorcycles flanking Khaleda’s motorcade as escorts.

The Election Commission has found that her canvassing with motorcade and security personnel disrupts traffic and breaches rules governing the election.

Both Tabith and Abbas have been warned over the issue.

Khaleda at Friday’s rally said, “The government has lost popular support. People are not safe anymore. Abductions and killings are taking place frequently.”

Regarding the sexual assaults on women during Bengali New Year celebrations, she said, “Even the women are not safe under this government’s rule.”

“Awami League’s goon harassed the women at Dhaka University on Pahela Baishakh (Apr 14),” she alleged.

The former prime minister said army deployment during the city polls was now the people’s demand.

“A pedestrian told me that the voters will feel safer to go to vote if the army is deployed. We believe that too.”

“But the incumbent Election Commission has become a puppet of the government. That’s why they have decided to keep the army inside the cantonments,” Khaleda said taking a dig at the EC.

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