Prime minister’s misleading claims
THE claim that the prime minister made on Saturday — as reported by the state-owned Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha — that her Awami League-Jatiya Party government has ‘done more than our commitment that we made to people ahead of the past elections’ does not quite tally with ground realities. First of all, her claim that the government had brought down inflation down to seven per cent could not have been any further than the truth. Inflation had been in double digits for 13 months in a row since March 2011 and currently hovers above nine per cent. The raging inflation ultimately points to the government’s failure to keep market prices ‘in tune with the purchasing power of the people’, one of the electoral pledges of the ruling Awami league.
The ruling party also promised ‘a long-term policy on electricity and energy’ but went for short-term private rental power plants, run on expensive fuel, to offset power generation shortage. Moreover, the rental plants not only failed to bring about any change in the electricity supply scenario but also caused macroeconomic instability. Meanwhile, murders and other crimes have surged, as have extrajudicial killing by law enforcement agencies, although the AL manifesto reads ‘extrajudicial killings will be stopped.’ To make things worse, there have been frequent reports of enforced disappearances; again, involvement of law enforcers has been alleged.
The Awami League also promised 100 per cent enrolment in primary education and pure drinking water for all by 2011; neither has materialised. Sanitation facility in every house by 2013 looks to be another promise destined to be broken, especially given the substantive cut in allocation for this programme in the budget for 2012-13. Also, the party’s promise that ‘administration will be free from politicisation’ has gone by default, as has the pledge that ‘courtesy and tolerance will be inculcated in the political culture’. These are only a few examples; there are more.
The prime minister needs to realise that denial of reality will not win the hearts and minds of the people but sincere and serious efforts to implement her party’s electoral pledges in the remainder of the government’s tenure will.
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