The BNP said there was no scope for reflection of people's opinion in the election the way it was held
The BNP has rejected the Dhaka North and South City Corporations' elections and called daylong hartal in city Dhaka for Sunday in protest against what they said "anomalies in the polls".
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam made the announcement at a press briefing at party's Naya Paltan office yesterday night.
This is the first hartal called by the BNP since January 2015.
Bringing various allegations of irregularities, including driving out of its candidates' polling agents from many polling stations, the BNP alleged that "a farce was staged" in the name of elections to two Dhaka city corporations.
"What was held in the name of elections to Dhaka North and South City Corporations was nothing but a farce," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at the party's Nayapaltan central office.
Around half an hour after the voting ended yesterday, Fakhrul came up with his party's immediate reaction to the Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation polls.
Fakhrul said there was no scope for reflection of people's opinion in the election the way it was held yesterday. "The election was not free and fair at all," he said.
Alleging that returning officers did not respond to complaints, Fakhrul said, "BNP's symbol 'sheaf of paddy' was not on display in many electronic voting machine. Many voters were sent back without being allowed to cast their vote."
BNP's Dhaka South City Corporation mayoral candidate Israque Hossain made similar allegations.
Tabith Awal, BNP's candidate in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), said, "We knew the aim of the election commission and the government from before."
"We have understood that our rivals are scared and that they are resorting to grabbing centres and driving out polling agents," he added.
The balloting for the elections to the two Dhaka city corporations began at 8am and concluded at 4pm without any break. Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs were fully used this time instead of traditional ballot papers.
Meanwhile, Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said, "BNP has called undemocratic hartal to hide their failure. The called the shutdown in haste as they were sure about their defeat."
On Saturday evening, Hanif also told the press that his party activists will be on the field to avert any unwanted situation during the anti-people programme.