Dhaka,  Saturday
15 June 2024

Oppositions have no prog on public interest issues

Abdur Rahim, Dhaka 

Published: 08:07, 19 May 2024

Oppositions have no prog on public interest issues

Photo: Collected

The country's opposition political parties do not have programmes on public interest issues. The prices of eggs, potatoes, onions, and vegetables have exceeded records. Apart from this, the condition of people is miserable due to the continuous increase in rent, transport costs, utility bills, and the prices of daily commodities. Protests and meetings are held under political banners every day, but those are only about party interests and power while public interest issues are ignored. 

Experts say that the country is currently in a state of economic turmoil. Hospitals in the country do not have adequate space to accommodate patients. Export earnings have declined and imports are shrinking. Bangladesh has become dependent on foreign loans. The number of unemployed people in the country is increasing day by day. The number of poor has doubled.

Parents are in agony as the cost of education has increased. Millions of low-income people are in dire straits due to the rising prices of everything.

Opposition political parties, including the BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Jatiya Party, have no street programmes to address such issues. Everyone is busy with their own political agenda. Political analysts say opposition political parties can play a role in addressing public issues. It is also being said that the opposition political parties have lost their past strength as the way to transfer power has been blocked constitutionally.

The BNP is passing days by complaining against the government, complaining to foreigners, holding prayers and milad, and sometimes protesting and holding human chains in front of the National Press Club and the party office. Senior leaders of the party are busy criticising the ruling party leaders. There is no major programme on public issues. The party does not seem to think about the common people. As part of the political routine work, it is often holding programmes to demand the release of jailed leaders and activists, including Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman. By boycotting the upazila elections, it continued to distribute leaflets as part of political programmes to boycott voting.

On the other hand, among the Islamic parties, Jamaat-e-Islami was once seen active in various issues, but after losing its top leaders in the scandal of war crimes, it also lost its power to organise movement. Now it is not going outside the prescription of BNP. Hefazat-e-Islam, Islami Andolon, Khilafat-e-Majlis and some Islamic parties have been seen intermittently holding protests at the Baitul Mukarram Mosque and Nayapaltan areas on religious issues, but they are also completely silent on the issue of people’s rights. Religious parties are also surprisingly silent on public interest issues. 

And the Jatiya Party is spending a long time to settle internal disputes. Brother- and sister-in-law disputes are always going on. Splitting into factions, the group’s members are now busy eliminating each other. Even though Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader has criticised the government sometimes, the party has not arranged programmes so far to play the role of an opposition party.

In this regard, Jatiya Party Co-Chairman and former minister Kazi Firoz Rashid said that the rise in the prices of daily necessities is not the failure of the government but the failure of the political parties. “The government is always trying to keep it under control. Yet it is growing. But those who are in the opposition, it is their responsibility to highlight these issues. They should speak in the interest of the people of the country. But they do not want to do that. This is our misfortune.”

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Secretary Ruhin Hossain Prince said that political parties are not talking about the increase in the prices of daily necessities and it is not right. “Leftist parties are always talking about these and holding programmes. The left will build bigger protests.”

Senior Joint Secretary General of BNP Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said BNP is a political party that cares about people and always does politics with the participation of the people. He also said that stronger party decisions will be made to address public issues.

Political analyst Professor Imtiaz Ahmed said those who speak strongly about the basic issues are actually the opposition parties and people also stand by them. “But BNP is often seen holding programmes with party agenda. They are not active on the street with these issues although people want someone to do that. Many opposition parties, including BNP, lack this.”

Badiul Alam Majumdar, political analyst and SUJAN secretary, said that the political parties now have a conflict of power. “The people of the country are in a dire situation. No one thinks about them. In fact, the way to transfer power has been blocked constitutionally. So, protests have faltered.”