BNP leaders resort to propaganda over 2018 election: Sajeeb Wazed

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Published on October 15, 2023
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ICT Affairs Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy said BNP leaders resorted to spreading propaganda centering the 2018 national election due to their outright failure to gain public confidence, coupled with a glaring leadership crisis, and intensified intra-party feuds.

He made the comments in a facebook post from his verified page on Friday along with uploading a video clip containing media reports.

The narrator of the video said despite appearing at the electoral booths in the morning and reportedly expressing content with the voting atmosphere, BNP leaders backtracked from their earlier stance in the evening in the face of imminent defeat.

The video showed media reports where top BNP leaders pinned hopes of victory after casting ballots in the morning on the polling day in 2018 elections.

Caught with a debilitating intra-party feud, BNP leaders also failed to provide clear instructions to their supporters while adequate polling agents from the party were not present on booths, according to the clip.

However, later in the evening, Oikya Front leaders Dr Kamal Hossain and Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir changed their tone and started blaming the government for their loss without offering any substance to back their claims.

To date, they have not provided substantial evidence to support their claims. Representatives from foreign observer groups maintained that the election was fair. The reasons for BNP's defeat lie within the party itself, Joy mentioned.

On December 30, 2018, the 11th parliamentary election took place, with people casting their votes in a peaceful atmosphere throughout the day. Both older and younger voters expressed satisfaction with the voting environment at the polling centres.

The BNP leaders initially supported voting but later changed their stance as it became clear that they were losing, according to Joy's video report.

Multiple reports were cited to claim that BNP and Jamaat leaders even attempted to capture polling stations and snatch ballot boxes the night before the election while a number of attacks launched on Awami League leaders, activists, and the police.

After the election, various countries also asserted that the votes were conducted fairly.

Before the 11th national election, a pre-election survey predicted that the Awami League would receive over 66pc of the votes.

As survey results became public, BNP and Jamaat began conspiring around the election, with central and local leaders reportedly instructed cadres to unleash vandalism, including arson.

The video also showed their inability to coordinate with the alliance and different groups led them to choose the path of sabotage, driving a wedge between local voters and the party candidates.

Due to organisational weaknesses, they could not even provide agents at the polling centers during the election. To mask these shortcomings, the party leaders resorted to a smear campaign known as 'night vote theory.'