Staff Correspondent: Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said the Election Commission (EC) will conduct the next national election independently under the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and there will be no interference from the government side.
He said, "The 11th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Election will be held as per the schedule and the government will assist the Election Commission in holding the polls. I hope that all political parties including BNP will participate in the polls."
Tofail Ahmed came up with the statement while speaking at the grand finale and prize distribution of debating competition for university students on Saturday.
Debate for Democracy and ATN Bangla jointly organized the competition 'People's confidence in Election Commission has been increased' at FDC auditorium with Hasan Ahmed Kiron in the chair.
A total of 32 private and public universities took part in the competition. Dhaka International University became champion and received Taka 200,000 while BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology emerged runner-up and got Taka 100,000 as prize money.
Tofail said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had tried the best to ensure participation of all political parties in the 10th parliament election. Sheikh Hasina invited BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for talks and assured her of giving important ministries, he said, adding that Awami League had tried to hold the polls on the basis of consensus. But BNP ignored Awami League's proposals and carried out destructive activities, he said.
"I hope that BNP would not take the same stand this time . . . it would take part in the election to be organized by the Election Commission under the present government," said Tofail.
ATN Bangla chairman Mahfuzur Rahman and former chairman of United Commercial Bank (UCB) M A Sabur attended the programme as special guests.
risingbd/Dhaka/January 13, 2018/Asad/A K Azad