Dhaka, Jan 17: Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said the government and the ruling party will not oppose if the Election Commission (EC) changes the date of elections to two Dhaka city corporations.He also suggested the EC to sit with the Hindu Community leaders to resolve the problem over the voting date as the existing one coincides with Saraswati Puja.
“If the Election Commission thinks about changing the election date, they can do it as they’ve the jurisdiction. Awami League and the government have nothing to do in this regard. We’ve also no objection to it,” Quader said.
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a press briefing at Awami League President’s Dhanmondi office after a meeting of their party.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said their meeting discussed various issues, including the voting on the day of Saraswati Puja.
He refuted Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain’s remark that the government did an unjust act by fixing the voting date on the day of Puja of the Hindu community members, saying the government has no role in this matter.
“The Election Commission is an independent institution, and they have the only jurisdiction to make the election schedule. The government has nothing to do in this regard. So, it’s not a justified remark that the government did an unjust act,” the minister said.
Stating that Saraswati Puja is the second largest religious festival of the Hindu community, he said the Commission should hold talks with leaders of the community to find out a decent, acceptable, logical and realistic solution.
Earlier on Thursday, Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad general secretary advocate Rana Dasgupta condemned the fixing voting date on January 30 as it coincides with Saraswati Puja.
He called upon the EC to change the voting date.
Meanwhile, a group of Dhaka University students continued their movement demanding deferment of the polls to the two Dhaka city corporations slated for January 30.
The Supreme Court chamber judge is likely to hold a hearing on the appeal filed on Thursday challenging the High Court order that turned down a writ petition seeking deferment of the January-30 elections.