JS Discussion: Lawmakers blast govt for graft
Several lawmakers of the BNP, Jatiya Party, Gonoforum and Workers Party yesterday blasted the government over corruption, absence of good governance and rule of law.
They criticised the government at the Jatiya Sangsad while taking part in a discussion on a resolution on holding a special discussion marking the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed the proposal in the House on Wednesday. President Abdul Hamid on the same day delivered a speech in parliament marking the same occasion.
In her proposal, the premier said, "Parliament opines that the golden jubilee celebration of the country's independence in 2021 is a glorious chapter in the national life of the Bangalees. Bangladesh is marching forward at an irresistible speed. Bangladesh now appears as a 'development miracle' in the world arena."
A total of 59 MPs, including the prime minister, took part in the nearly 11-hour discussion in the last two days.
The House later adopted the resolution unanimously.
Except the criticism from some MPs, other lawmakers of the treasury and opposition benches highly lauded the government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership in building a prosperous Bangladesh.
Jatiya Party lawmaker Mujbul Haque Chunnu said, "There is no doubt that the country has achieved a lot. But let me say one thing, Bangabandhu had said that corruption must be eradicated. But that has not been done."
He said corruption must be stopped in order to realise Bangabandhu's dream.
Mujbul, also the JP secretary general, said: "Looting banks, defaulting loans, and laundering money were not in Bangabandhu's dream. We will have to stop all these."
BNP MP Rumeen Farhana said Bangladesh was liberated as an independent country with the motto of democracy. "But in the last one decade, 'democracy after development', 'limited democracy' have been introduced in the country."
She said there is a culture of "more development, less democracy" in the country now just like Ayub Khan's (Pakistani autocratic ruler) basic democracy.
Rashed Khan Menon, a lawmaker from Workers Party, a component of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance, said they were taking responsibilities of the government's wrongdoings although they were not a part of its decision-making process.
"We have reached the present state with the formation of 15-party alliance, pledges by three alliances and formation of the 14-party combine, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. But it was based on the unity of non-communal and democratic forces. We are in the 14-party alliance now only to celebrate different national days. We are not a part of the policy-making process."
Coming down hard on the government over corruption and mismanagement in the health sector, Menon, also the president of Workers Party, alleged that the sector was mired in mismanagement. He stressed the need for an overhaul of the healthcare system.
Expressing dismay at the participation of businessmen in politics, he said, "We have noticed today that the military-civil bureaucracy-rich groups have been formed around the ruling power of the country."
He said Bangabandhu had subordinated the bureaucracy to the people's representatives, but the latter are now under the bureaucracy.
"Bureaucrats do not hesitate to call politicians 'political villains'. They now also say that they are running the country," Menon added.
BNP MP Harunur Rashid alleged that corruption was everywhere, especially in the health and education sectors.
He said there is no democracy and rule of law in the country.
The lawmaker said parliament failed to materialise people's hopes and aspirations as it couldn't become the centre-point of discussions on all matters.
Gonoforum MP Mokabbir Khan said the government will have to ensure people's basic rights, voting rights and rule of law.