Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today criticized Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar for his comments about the election process, saying he (Talukdar) has exposed his 'self-deception' by making such remarks staying in the post.
"It would have been proper had Mahbub Talukdar made such comments after resigning from his existing post," he told a press briefing at his office at the secretariat here this afternoon.
The minister said whatever reforms took place in the election process and the Election Commission (EC), were made following the demands of Awami League.
"Awami League President Sheikh Hasina demanded a flawless voter list with photographs. Due to her demand, the voter list was updated and many reforms were made in the election process," he said.
Hasan said the reform in the election procedure is an ongoing process. "The reform can take place at any moment as per the need of the time. Once the people used to vote by raising hands and later ballot papers were introduced. And now the people are giving their votes through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)," he added.
Replying to a query, Hasan said, "I don't think his (Talukdar) comments could hamper the normal situation of the Election Commission. But, I think he tried to draw attentions by making such comments at different times."
About BNP's decision to participate in two city corporation polls in Dhaka, Hasan welcomed the move, saying the all city corporation elections were held neutrally and transparently under the AL government.
He said many BNP candidates were elected in many city corporation polls where the candidates of Awami League and other parties were defeated. "It was only possible as the Election Commission is performing their duties neutrally and freely," he added.
The minister said the allegations of BNP are stereotyped. "They make such allegations before all elections. But I firmly believe that the two city corporation polls will be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner," said Hasan, also the newly elected joint general secretary of AL.
About BNP's movement, he said the countrymen saw their module of the movement in the last 11 years. "They (BNP) didn't withdraw their blockade which was declared in 2014 by BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia. People know their strength for movement," he added.
Replying to a query about the programmes of Jatiya Oikya Front, Hasan said the alliance took part in the last general elections and some of their candidates were elected. "The lawmakers also took oath and joined the parliament. They are enjoying all facilities as lawmakers. So, I think they were cheating themselves by raising questions about the election," he said.
The December 30 (2018) election has strengthen democracy in the country, he added.