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Politics dictated by business people

Complains Jalil; Quader says image of politics destroyed by political leaders

Seasoned politician Abdul Jalil yesterday said country’s political leadership is now in the hands of entrepreneurs who have turned the parliament apolitical.

“There is now a political leadership crisis in the country as leadership was not created in the last 20 years,” said the ruling Awami League (AL) advisory council member also a lawmaker at a “Meet the Press” programme in Dhaka Reporters’ Unity of the capital.

Current leaders of political parties are responsible for the situation, added the former AL general secretary.

Another veteran politician Obaidul Quader, said political leaders destroyed the image of politics. “Still now, political leaders are lobbying for favourable reports from intelligence agencies for getting positions in parties,” he said at a discussion in Public Library seminar hall in the capital.

“Where the dignity goes, if political leaders sit around in the offices of entrepreneurs for hours? We have failed to defend our dignity,” said Quader who is an AL lawmaker and the party’s presidium member.

He said the events of 1\11 could be possible in 2007 due to the activities of the leaders of both major political parties.

About the successes and failures of the AL-led government, Jalil, a former commerce minister, said, “Though the government achieved immense success in agriculture and education, it could not be successful in generating necessary gas and electricity.”

Besides, the government failed to improve law and order, and to curb price hike of essentials, he said adding that commodity price hike could not be controlled through command. He suggested that the minister concerned takes opinions of all stakeholders.

Saying that the law and order situation has not improved as criminals are not being punished, he suggested that the government brings a major reshuffle in the police force after increasing their salaries and other perks. He also advised bringing change to the police recruiting system, attracting more educated people to the force.

Jalil spoke on different aspects of the government, the ruling party and its 14-party coalition.

He said the public do not know much about some of the ministers, and those ministers have no touch with the people. He observed that the cabinet should be reshuffled to make it vibrant.

He demanded formation of a parliamentary probe body to investigate alleged torture of political leaders, entrepreneurs, and academicians by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) after the 1/11 political changeover. He said the investigation must be carried out for the sake of strengthening democracy.

There is no coordination in the ruling 14-party coalition due to a lack of proper initiative, Jalil observed adding that each and every component of the coalition should be evaluated properly. Organisational activities of ruling AL also came to a standstill, he added.

Saying the main opposition BNP is not joining the parliament because it is not committed to the public and democracy, he urged the opposition to join the House.

He demanded that ruling party lawmakers be given full freedom of speech in the parliament, with an assurance that there will be no punitive measure against them for talking against party line. The measure is needed so the parliament remains effective even if the opposition walks out, he said.

DRU President Mustak Hossain, and General Secretary Jamal Uddin accompanied Jalil at the event.

Source : The Daily Star

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