Ershad wants conducive atmosphere to contest polls

Jatiya Party chairman Hussain Muhammad Ershad has iterated that his party will not take part in the parliamentary election unless a congenial atmosphere is created for holding it onJanuary 5. “Just wait for my signal after submission of your nomination papers. If we think that the election will be credible, we would contest it. Go to the polling centres only after my instructions,” Ershad told JP activists and aspiring candidates at a city hotel during a view-exchange programme on Friday. The JP is cent per cent ready to take part in the election, but there should be a congenial atmosphere, he added. Expressing his doubts about a credible election, Ershad said: “I cannot jeopardise the lives of my candidates by taking part in the election amid violence. I cannot push them into fire. They are like my children.” Urging the main Opposition BNP, the JP chief said: “Please stop acts of arson. You can take part in the election in any situation. Why don’t you join the poll. There is a great chance to save the country from the hands of the present government.” The JP chief also urged the government to create an environment conducive to holding the election.
“I have finalised the names of 299 candidates for 299 constituencies. I have not fielded any candidate in the President’s constituency in his honour,” Ershad said. A total of 1,498 JP candidates have bought nomination papers for contesting the 10th parliamentary election. Of them, 728 candidates were short-listed primarily by the party’s parliamentary board. Those chosen finally will receive a message on their cell phones for confirmation of their nomination.
The ruling Awami League and the Jatiya Party have started making preparations for taking part in the election following announcement of the poll date.
But the Opposition BNP and its allies are agitating to press for an election under a non-partisan government. They have demanded cancellation of the schedule. At least 19 people have so far died in violence during the 71-hour blockade, called by the Opposition protesting against the announcement of the election schedule.

-With The Independent input

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