Opposition MPs on Thursday urged the government to ensure democracy and good governance eradicating corruption and irregularities in order to implement the spirit of the country’s independence.
But the treasury bench MPs mainly highlighted the development of Bangladesh during the Awami League rule, particularly under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Both opposition and ruling party MPs participated in a two-day special discussion that concluded on Thursday in Parliament, marking the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence.
Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday placed a proposal for holding a general discussion in Parliament under section 47 of the Rules of Procedure to mark the 50 years of the country’s independence.
The proposal was adopted unanimously by voice vote on Thursday after the general discussion. Fifty-nine MPs from across the board joined the discussion and spoke for 10 hours and 45 minutes.
President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday delivered a commemorative speech, marking the Golden Jubilee of independence.
Joining the discussion, Jatiya Party Secretary General Mujbul Haque said there is no doubt what the country has achieved, but corruption and irregularities need to be eradicated to materialize Bangabandhu’s dreams.
"Bangabandhu had said corruption must be eradicated. But that was not done. In order to implement Bangabandhu's philosophy, corruption must be stopped,” he said.
“Plundering of banks, default loans and money laundering were not Bangabandhu's dreams. We’ll have to stop all these ugly things,” said the JP MP.
Another JP lawmaker, Anisul Islam Mahmud, said all the achievements would be shattered if the institutions of the country are not strengthened.
“Though 50 years have elapsed since independence, our institutions have not been strengthened enough. So, we’ve to do that. Otherwise, all the achievements will go in vain,” he said.
He said there is no denial that Bangladesh has witnessed significant development. “Since election is the main principle of democracy, I urge the Prime Minister to strengthen the EC.”
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon said social disparity continues to expand in the country even though Bangladesh has attained massive development.
“The disparity has widened and turned acute. Bangladesh is seeing unprecedented development under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina as there has been marked progress in all economic indexes…but the assets and wealth of the country have got concentrated in the hands of a few,” he said.
Expressing dismay over the participation of businessmen in politics, Menon said, "We’ve noticed today that a military-civil bureaucracy-rich group has developed centering the ruling power.”
Noting that Bangabandhu had brought the bureaucracy under public representatives, Menon said now the public representatives are under the bureaucracy.
“We’ve to take the development and democracy forward simultaneously, and resist all sorts of communal activities,” he said.
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said Bangladesh has now become as the role model for development in the last 50 years of independence, proving all the speculations of international groups wrong.
He said many international personalities had predicted that Bangladesh might not survive as an independent country and even if it survives it would have to depend on foreign aid. “But Bangladesh is now a role model proving their predictions wrong,” he said.
The Agriculture Minister urged all to get united to implement the ideology of Bangabandhu.
AL MP Shajahan Khan said the ideology of Bangabandhu and the spirit of Liberation War are the only values for people to take the country forward.
He urged the people of Bangladesh to fight all the conspiracies against the country. “We all would have to be united under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.”
BNP MP Rumeen Farhana said Bangladesh was liberated as an independent country with a motto of establishing democracy.
“But in the last one decade, limited democracy has been introduced in Bangladesh,” she said.
Rumin said, the “more development, less democracy” culture is going on in Bangladesh now just like Ayub's (Pakistani autocratic ruler) “basic democracy”.
BNP MP Harunur Rashid slammed the government saying that corruption is everywhere, especially in the health and education sectors.
He said there is no democracy and the rule of law in Bangladesh.