Awami League government looks back at three years in office
Moinul Hoque Chowdhury, Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-01-12 02:44:09.0 BdST Updated: 2017-01-12 04:05:47.0 BdST
It is with some bouquets and a few brickbats that the Awami League government has passed three years of its second straight term in office.
The party held on to power following the general elections to the 10th Parliament held in 2014.
The party made the campaign pledge of putting Bangladesh on the development highway in the election boycotted by the BNP and its allies.
Past its midterm, the Awami League has had a chequered tenure so far.
Although the beginning of its tenure was marred by violence, the party looks unburdened halfway through.
In keeping with its polls slogan, the party has devoted much of its attention to development, the fruits of which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina believes that the nation will get now.
"A government does not come to relish power only, we have proved it," she said, speaking at an event on the eve of the completion of three years.
An undated file photo shows a truck being burnt during the BNP-enforced blockade in 2015.
In the televised address, she is expected to concentrate on the developmental milestones achieved by her government.
However, arch-rival BNP maintains that the government is trying to veil its 'ruthless' stand against the opposition using the 'facade of development'.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir took on the development tale of the government and said, "(Pakistan President) Ayub Khan also celebrated '10 years of development' in 1968. He had to quit in 1969."
International human rights organisations believe that the right to freedom of expression in Bangladesh has been curbed under the Awami League government.
In defence, the Awami League leaders maintain that development more than election is the concern of the people of Bangladesh now.
Sheikh Hasina announcing election manifesto in this undated file photo.
Hasina and her team have also won appreciation at international forums.
During the current tenure, Bangladesh saw its per capita income rise, which elevated the country to the status of a higher middle income nation.
The power sector has made significant progress, so have some of the vital megaprojects on the infrastructural front.
The poor and the handicapped have been provided with food grain at affordable prices.
The Transparency International report saw Bangladesh come out with the same score although there has been a downslide since last year by one position in its Corruptions Perception Index (CPI).
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has conceded that despite success on several other fronts, tackling corruption has been an area where the government has failed so far.
Piling work of the Padma Bridge.
The government has been facing flak for quite sometimes over one scam after another in the banking sector.
The cyber heist of Bangladesh Bank's $81 billion reserves in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been making international headlines and the investigation is still to see its conclusion.
Tackling militancy and other issues
The Hasina government has been heavily criticised for its 'failure' to arrest those involved in series of murders of writers, bloggers, online activists, and a publisher. The killing of 22 people, 17 of them foreigners, in the July 1 terror attack on a cafe in Dhaka's Gulshan left it stunned.
Many of the top militant suspects have been killed in continuous police and RAB crackdown on militants after the attack.
The security agencies have earned applause for the raids, but also criticised for extrajudicial killings, with the allegations of enforced disappearance of opposition leaders and activists already galore.
After the terror attacks in Gulshan and Kishoreganj's Sholakia, information on the involvement of youths from well-off families and top educational institutions in militancy came to light.
The government's campaign to raise awareness against militancy among youths has been hailed by many.
Pressing on with war crimes trial and executing influential Jamaat-e-Islami leaders for their war-time atrocities have once again proved Hasina’s unflagging determination to address the ghost of the past.
Sheikh Hasina has drawn global attention.
The Awami League, known to be a secular party, is also facing sharp criticisms over the accusation of its local leaders being involved in the attacks on the minority Hindus in Brahmanbarhia and ethnic Santals in Gaibandha.
The activities of ruling MPs, and leaders and activists of affiliate organisations, especially youth front Awami Juba League and student front Bangladesh Chhatra League, have left the party red faced.
So much so that General Secretary Obaidul Quader was left with no choice but to warn them repeatedly.
After a year with no major political instability, President Md Abdul Hamid is holding talks with political parties on forming the next Election Commission.
If the 'calm' remains for two more years, it will present the Awami League with a great opportunity to deliver on the promised taaks, because no political party would enjoy such favourable political environment in governing the country.
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