Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder has expressed his astonishment over the way the Election Commission (EC) handled the Narayanganj City Corporation election held yesterday.
In a statement sent to media after the election, Talukder said, "I am a little surprised about the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) election. A member of parliament has participated in the election campaign which is a direct violation of the electoral code of conduct. But not even a letter was sent to him for violating the code of conduct. Rather, the Election Commission said that he did not commit a punishable offence even though he violated the code of conduct."
"Where is the division between punishable offence and non-punishable offence? Why letters were served to other members of parliament for violating the code of conduct? These issues are not a sign of neutrality in elections," he said.
In the statement, he said, "A number of people have been arrested for various reasons after the announcement of election schedule in Narayanganj. But even after contacting the authorities concerned, it could not be known how many people were arrested. The Election Commission Secretariat has no information about the matter. The secretariat does not have any information about the number of casualties during the recent UP polls."
"At one time, we prohibited the arrest of people involved in the electoral process, especially polling agents, after the announcement of the election schedule, unless the person is involved in any criminal offence.
"I myself have always opposed the ghost cases. Why does the filing of ghost cases rise during the election period? The detention in the old case continued even during this election also, which is sad. The NCC election was the last city corporation election during our tenure. I expected a lot from holding this election, because, as I said before, all's well that ends well.
"In the NCC election, I visited 14 booths in four centres. There were no significant clashes or violence in this election. Among the city corporation elections held during our tenure in the last five years, in my opinion, the first Cumilla City Corporation election and the last Narayanganj City Corporation election are the best. I convey my thanks to everyone involved in the election," Mahbub Talukder concluded in his statement.