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S M Mizanur Rahman
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Saturday tea party with leaders of different political parties and alliances has been well appreciated by the conscious people.
Violence and terrorism have claimed many lives. People are scared of those subversive acts. So they want peace and they believe a sustainable peace can be ensured by the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. They hope after this noble gesture of the prime minster, there will be no politics of violence.
And the ongoing development projects will get pace and will be implemented in the stipulated time.
Indeed, it was a sign of good intent by the ruling party to bring about a positive sign in strengthening democratic practice in the country, believe political analysts and observers.
Experts said when leaders of political parties hold open talks on issues, especially relating to public interest and the ways to continue democratic practice, a favourable breeze starts blowing over the country’s political landscape.
They also urged the political parties to keep on in the future such arrangements, apart from post-polls talks, where many national issues can be discussed and settled on the open floor.
However, referring to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led Oikyafront’s boycott of the event, they said people, since August 15, 1975 and August 21, 2004, are now divided into two quarters. The first one is anti-communal force believing in the spirit of the liberation war and uniting under the leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina while the second one is the anti-liberation force under the BNP leadership.
They said BNP’s boycott of the PM’s invitation has been yet another mistake, and it has manifested that the party is still clinging to its old political attitude of negativism.
It is not good for the health of democracy and BNP’s existence as well, they said, adding that the party is now on the edge of a ditch and might fall into it anytime.
“People witnessed the two deadly and heinous incidents in the country. On the fateful night of August 15, 1975 these anti-liberation forces believing in the spirit of the Pakistan killed the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members. These forces also had a plan to assassinate Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina on August 21 in 2004. But Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the death,” said Abu Ahsan Mohammad Shamsul Arefin Siddique, former vice-chancellor, University of Dhaka.
Therefore, the tactic of BNP is very clear: only criticise any policy of PM Sheikh Hasina, added Mr Siddique.
Contacted, Syed Anwar Husain, Bangabandhu Chair Professor, Bangladesh University of Professionals, termed the tea party as a positive one, saying such arrangement should continue in the greater interest of the country’s people and the democratic practice.
He said such talks over tea parties will gradually help to overcome the current political challenges towards a sustainable environment of peace and stability.
On Saturday, PM Sheikh Hasina hosted a tea party for the leaders of political alliances and organisations who joined the PM’s pre-election dialogues too at Ganobhaban.
The leaders of all political parties, except for BNP-led Oikyafront, attended the tea party.
Front ranking leaders of different political parties including Awami League, Jatiya Party, Workers Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JASOD-Inu), JAPA (Monju), JASOD (Ambia), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD), Ganotantri Party, Samyabadi Dal, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, Islami Oikya Jote, Tariqat Federation, Bangladesh Nationalist Front attended the function.
However, instead attending the prime minister’s invitation, BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront sent a letter to Ganobhaban explaining the reason behind its decision not to join it.
They said the government formed through a farce in the name of an election on December 30 is in no way a moral one. People’s minimum democratic rights and their authority to elect representatives through exercising their voting rights were snatched on that day, they added.