Political uncertainty and fear of blood letting

Mohammad Ali Sattar

This time we have a constitutional crisis in hand again. In 2006, when the BNP led 4-party government, in consort with its cronies, attempted to arrange the national polls under the management of a convenient caretaker head, the agitation led by the Awami League, forced the military to step in and install a working team under its supervision.
The next two years has also been interesting twist and turns of events and faces in the state administration. The nation got the flavour of good men and controversial men who then made the policy making body. People were informed about corruption acts and unbelievable felony committed by men from almost all professions and classes.
Rest is history. We have had two years of mixed governance, one of crises, corruption and oppression.
People thought that the politicians and others would learn a lesson from their acidic incidents during the military backed caretaker regime and act accordingly. There was a sense of relief when an elected government took the saddle in 2009.
The AL government took charge, with almost brand new faces in the cabinet. There was surprise for all from the Prime Minister. Indeed the nation was taken by surprise, and later on shocked, by immature and controversial talks and acts by these young and not so young and inexperienced members of the Cabinet.
There has been controversy and indecent issues galore. All the sectors got inflicted with dreadful diseases of oppression, corruption, crime and violence. As though there was no administration at work and the government’s policy had been one of ‘calculated oppression of dissenting voices.’
The opposition also cut a sorry figure. It could not come up with strong standing that would make some sense and stir the politicians to reinforce their anti-government position. The parliament as usual witnessed empty benches of the opposition. It let the government party accomplish whatever it deemed. Bills were placed and cleared at will, and later made law with haste, but no hassle.
The BNP-led opposition could do world of good to itself and the nation if they stayed on in the Parliament for the full term and also continue its street programs and avenue agitations. Surprisingly, it could not cash in on many issues of importance that the government found itself snoozing on.
The BDR killings, the stock market meltdown, Padma Bridge scam, Hall-Mark swindle, Sonali bank fraud, cheating of Destiny, scrapping of caretaker system, Khaleda Zia’s ejection from her cantonment residence, etc. were good enough reasons to spur the public sentiment and draw them to a meaningful movement. It could draw up a concerted planning to wage peaceful yet strong campaign against the government. It botched. The failure of the party is glaringly pathetic.
The malfunction of the opposition have logically encouraged and empowered the government machinery further. And went on doing things it considered convenient for them disregarding the opposition and the people at large.
However hard the government and its friends try to paint a blushing picture of successes, it is not the reality. Only the agro and education sector has done a commendable job. Others simply don’t shine. Of late, the forex reserve was said to be $6 billion – a record! But does that really matter in terms of real development? One doubts.
The crime scene and corruption pyramid has been on the up. The transport sector, with its unruly workers and greedy owners, has been playing with people. Their lives and purse have been invaded and robbed. The government did nothing and the system broke down.
The brawl now is for and against the caretaker system. The government scrapped the system after the Supreme Court orders. And the opposition says it won’t participate in the national polls under a partisan government.
The government believes that the BNP will eventually turn in to take part in the elections, while the BNP still holds on to its tough stance against it.
Of late, the Prime Minister has turned the heat on by declaring that she won’t budge from the constitutional provision. This did not augur well with the opposition and other quarters. People smell more violence and blood-letting in the offing.
Source: Weekly Holiday


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