Taimur Alam Khandaker, whom the BNP removed from its advisory council for contesting the Narayanganj city polls, has urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to step in and save his supporters from harassment.
People in plain clothes have raided the houses of his aides and arrested some of his supporters, he alleged.
At a news briefing on Tuesday, Taimur, however, vowed to continue his mayoral run at any cost as an independent candidate against Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy, an Awami League-backed candidate.
He accused Jahangir Kabir Nanak, a praesidium member of the Awami League, of threatening him with “trouble" in public remarks.
“They have started to arrest the BNP leaders and activists and my supporters after Nanak's statement. I believe this is the trouble I’m facing now.”
If the harassment is a reflection of Nanak’s threat to him, it would only ‘tarnish the image’ of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said Taimur.
“The prime minister may not be aware of the issue, and some of their [ruling party's] overenthusiastic people are harassing our leaders and activists,” he said.
The Election Commission and the administration never took any measures to address the issue despite repeated complaints, he alleged. “I wrote three letters to the returning officer stating the ruling party candidate and her aides defied the election code of conduct, but never received any response.”
Taimur protested against the arrest of Monirul Islam Robi, coordinator of his election team and demanded his release, reports bdnews24.com.
Police arrested Robi at his Hirajheel residence on Monday in connection with an old case. As he is the coordinator, Robi has all necessary election documents with him, said Taimur, who is running the mayoral run with an elephant symbol.
Houses of at least 37 leaders and activists were raided on Monday and 17 people were arrested, according to Taimur.
“They were all in plain clothes. When we contacted the police, they claimed to be unaware of the incident.”
Taimur vowed to demonstrate in front of the police superintendent’s office if he fails to take necessary actions against the arrests and harassment.
In response to a question, he said he would accept the public's decision on the election. He also said his party does not have any internal conflict, while the division in the ruling party is “quite vivid”.