Denying Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nurul Huda's allegations of irregularities, Citizens for Good Governance (Shujan) Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said the CEC must provide evidence for his claim.
"It is so unfortunate for us to have such a person appointed for the post of the CEC," said Badiul Alam at a virtual press conference held in response to the allegations made by the CEC against him and former CEC chief ATM Shamsul Huda on Saturday.
On January 27, CEC Huda, while speaking with media in Dhaka, claimed that the Shujan secretary engaged in criticism of the present EC as he did not get any work from the commission.
Nurul Huda claimed to have found irregularities involving Tk1 crore against Badiul Alam.
He also said that former CEC ATM Shamsul Huda held the elections with the "blessings of the cantonment."
Mentioning that CEC made false statements, Badiul Alam also said, "I have never gone to the EC for work or sent any letter to them asking for work."
Terming the CEC's remark defamatory, Badiul Alam said that not only him but all those associated with Shujan have been defamed by Nurul Huda's statement.
Asked whether Shujan was considering any legal action in this regard, he said, "We will decide whether to file a defamation case later."
Meanwhile, speakers at the press conference observed that assassinating the character of a critic was a widely used tactic to thwart logical criticism and the CEC KM Nurul Huda had done just that.
Eminent jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik said, "The CEC said what he did because he didn't have a proper reply to the constructive criticism.
"The CEC, at the press briefing, didn't talk about his inefficiencies and misdeeds in the polls held during his five-year tenure. He has violated the electoral system and for this he should be held accountable and face punishment."
Criticising the CEC, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, renowned environmentalist and chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), said that she was shocked to see Nurul Huda lie, despite holding the office of a prestigious constitutional body.
She said, "Nurul Huda's remarks are completely fabricated and ill-motivated. He has to prove his claims against Shujan and its secretary. He also has to answer why he didn't present any evidence to support his allegations."
Justice MA Matin warned,"If the people engaged in public works are tarnished in this way, no one will come forward."
Shujan President M Hafizuddin Khan said, "When a CEC can say 'we [the EC] aren't responsible for peoples' death [during polls] and for low voter turnout' – he is not aware of his duties.
"He [Nurul Huda] should be punished for destroying the electoral system."