All the candidates are busy campaigning. Candidates are working day and night to attract voters in their respective constituencies. They are more concerned about taking the voters to the center. Along with showing the picture of development, they are giving various promises. On the other hand, after announcing the ‘non-cooperation’ movement, the BNP is carrying out various activities to implement it. They are distributing leaflets with a five-point appeal including boycotting the vote in mass communication across the country. Along with this, strike and blockade programs will also continue. BNP is creating a frightening atmosphere, BNP was trying to prevent people from coming to vote in the upcoming 12th National Parliament elections, but people were trying to participate in the election process. People of the country want to strengthen the country’s democracy by voting.
A wide response is being noticed among the people regarding the parliamentary elections. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm among the people around the election. The country will move forward through the love and support that people are showing to Sheikh Hasina. We can say based on the support of the people of the country, the enthusiasm that is seen among the people of the country on January 7 ahead of the 12th National Parliament elections has overwhelmed everyone.
The people of the country have the right to vote. Therefore, the mood of the festival is flowing around the election. Voters are looking forward to going to the center and voting on January 7. People are rejecting BNP’s blockade, hartal. Non-cooperation has started against BNP-Jamaat, the opposition force in the National Parliament elections. The proof of this is that life in the bazaars and shops of Bangladesh is normal. Having failed in the movement, the BNP now wants to question the voters by turning them away from the election.
At the same time, the Awami League is also afraid of various conspiracies of the BNP and their domestic and foreign allies behind the program. They also said that they are keeping a close eye on this matter from the policy-making stage of the party. Free, fair, and impartial elections are held in every constituency in a festive atmosphere, enabling voters to come to the polling booths without fear and exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice. There is an effort to ensure voter turnout along with retaining the spirit of voting.
The election campaign has started. The party’s nominees are going door-to-door for voters. They are urging voters to vote for their party’s candidates. People are the lifeblood of political parties. Political parties are born for the people. People are not born for the party. The party exists as long as the people want it. Political parties are created for the welfare of the people. If the party instead makes people’s lives miserable, then the party is no longer needed. The people one day leave that party, and say goodbye. If the BNP considers itself a political party, then it will not involve itself in these activities and will return to the stream of fair politics.
Just as a political party that believes in democracy has the opportunity to exercise its democratic rights, it also has to respect the exercise of democratic rights by others. Just talk about your rights, and undermine the rights of others, that cannot happen. One has to acquire and retain the power of one’s own legs. The thought of walking on the shoulders of others will be erased from the mind. Stand by the people of the country, think about the honor and welfare of the country. The people of this country can be the source of strength for all political parties. People’s spontaneity is what adorns democratic political culture. It will not be right to verify the fairness of the election based on statistics. Fair-free-neutral elections depend on voter participation. First of all, there is a need to strengthen the security system so that the voters can reach the center safely so that they can vote without fear. Along with this, ensuring a fair voting environment in polling stations is also a priority.
Whenever a major change has been achieved in the politics of the country it has not been done by foreigners but by the spontaneous participation of the people. Millions of people across the country have come down to the streets to demand. It is possible to make the 12th National Parliament elections free-fair-neutral by ensuring the environment of spontaneous voter participation and a safe voting system. But we have to think about a permanent solution in this regard.
National Parliament elections are held at regular intervals. Every time there is a crisis of trust between the political parties in organizing elections, the complaints from various quarters about the lack of proper structure or management need to be resolved. The Election Commission is repeatedly guaranteeing transparent elections, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also repeatedly expressing her commitment to transparency in elections. At the same time, there is a sharp observation of foreigners about our national parliament election and political situation; Although such is unintended. Those who allow foreigners to pry into our internal affairs are not doing anything good for the nation, nor are they doing anything good for their future. If they still participate in the elections, the way to conduct fair-free-neutral elections will be easier.
If they participate in the elections, they will fight with the ruling party. And we expect such a fight in democracy. Competing with each other in the battle for votes creates a festive atmosphere. There are many ways to counter allegations of electoral fraud. Now is the era of technological excellence. Thanks to social media and media, it is possible to get any news from anywhere in the country. It is possible to get the news not only of the country but of the whole world. The right of any party to systematically carry out its political program is recognized in a democratic system. A strong opposition is essential in a democratic political system. A strong opposition party in Parliament is beneficial to the people. Our politics has a glorious history, which is the pride of the nation. It is the policy-makers of the political parties who should fulfill the responsibility to ensure that future generations can get acquainted with this political history and ideals.
The record of our political achievements is far-reaching. Elections are one of the most important components of democracy. Therefore, the election atmosphere will be festive and no election-centric situation should arise, in which public safety will come into question. Priority should be given to public safety. At the same time, the path of non-politics should be blocked in the name of politics for the future needs of the nation. Absolute tolerance is another important condition of democracy. In a democracy, there is bound to be disagreement and that is normal; But this disagreement should not lead to a situation that leads to a difficult situation in terms of wealth, economy, and other aspects of life.
BNP is a large party; BNP has made a big mistake by not coming to the elections. We all want a free, fair, impartial, peaceful and credible election. We also agree with this wish of the people of the world and we also want it. Incredible success has come to Bangladesh. In the last 15 years, it has been because of Sheikh Hasina, it has been because of the Awami League party. Awami League does whatever is needed. Youth employment will be a major issue for Awami League in the future.
To create jobs for people. We have educated unemployed. For this, we are providing training for the educated. The government is determined to conduct free, fair, and impartial elections. While the opposition party BNP in Bangladesh is carrying out various programs in the movement to overthrow the government, the ruling Awami League is moving towards the elections with confidence. At the same time, several leaders of the party are participating in the election without agreeing with the party’s strategy.
The already festive election campaign centered around the upcoming National Parliament elections has created an extraordinary environment to mobilize people from all walks of life towards the elections. All the citizens of the country, especially the eligible voters in the age structure of the existing law, are highly excited about the upcoming National Parliament elections, especially the young generation. After the scrutiny of nominations and allotment of symbols by the Election Commission, party-affiliated-independent candidates have adopted various positive strategies in their campaigns.
To gain the trust of the people, every candidate is calling on the voters to go to the polling station and exercise their right to vote without fear. The reshuffle of the necessary manpower, including law enforcement and administrative officers, is almost complete to make the elections held under the Independent Election Commission meaningful. The Election Commission has taken all steps to reach the ballot papers on the election day morning. In the progress of countrymen and the development of the country, the global partners-countries-donors have confirmed the adoption of appropriate measures to monitor the elections.
The deep faith of the people; There is no alternative to free-fair-acceptable elections. To make the bright future of the country more glorious continuously, support from all quarters, domestic and foreign, is needed. It will be obvious to all that under the current government an impartial and competent Election Commission is possible to deliver a fair election. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly promised free, fair and impartial elections. On November 23, 2023, in the Awami League Nomination Board meeting, the Prime Minister commented that there is no doubt that the 12th National Parliament elections will be free and fair. She said to the countrymen in that meeting, “You will exercise your right to vote with confidence. Vote for whoever you want, we have no say in that. I will give my vote, I will give it to whoever I want, that is our slogan. Fair and participatory elections are key to keeping economic activity going by disregarding various kinds of propaganda prohibitions. Forming the next government in the judgment of the majority of elected representatives through clean elections is truly a challenging matter.
The writer is a columnist and researcher.