Jatiya Oikya Front lost due to ‘criminal activities’: Hasina

Dhaka: Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina on Monday said that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front) lost the 11th General Elections of the country as the alliance was indulging in “criminal activities.”

While speaking to journalists and foreign observers at her ‘Ganabhaban’ residence here, Hasina said that the opposition alliance won fewer seats in the polls as they did not nominate eligible candidates, according to Bangladeshi media reports.

Hasina’s Awami League-led Grand Alliance, which includes 14 parties in total, won 288 seats out of 300 seats, while the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) helmed Jatiya Oikya Front suffered a massive rout by bagging only seven seats in total, according to The Daily Star.

She said that the people of Bangladesh have reposed their faith in the Awami League and voted for the party again because of various development works carried out by her government.

Responding to allegations of rigging and ballot stuffing, Hasina said that she advocated for a transparent manner of voting as the people would feel free to exercise their franchise.

Polling for the 11th General Elections began at early morning on Sunday at around 8 am and continued till 4 pm in the evening.

Despite tight security arrangements, violence was reported from various pockets of Bangladesh claiming 18 lives in total and injuring around 200 people. Moreover, nine people were arrested in poll-related violence from across the nation.

As the counting process was underway on Sunday and showed Hasina’s party leading the way, the Jatiya Oikya Front called the polls a “farce”, alleging that it was completely rigged, demanding re-election. However, the Bangladesh Election Commission rejected their claims, ruling out any chance of re-election.