Thursday, May 30, 2024

BNP pledges accountable political system

Khaleda unveils 36-point election manifesto
Shahidul Islam Chowdhury 

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, launches the party’s election manifesto in a briefing at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday. — New Age photo
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, launches the party’s election manifesto in a briefing at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday. — New Age photo

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, pledged to create a responsible and accountable political system in the country as she unveiled the party’s 36-point election manifesto on Saturday.
She also promised to make Jatiya Sangsad the ‘centre of politics’, amendments to provisions of the caretaker government system in the constitution, independence of the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Commi-ssion, dealing with militancy and violence with an iron hand and maintaining communal harmony, if her party was voted to power in the December 29 parliamentary elections.
‘The Jatiya Sangsad will be the centre of national politics’, Khaleda Zia announced in the manifesto presented at a simple function organised at a city hotel.
‘We will take the opposition into confidence on all important national issues.’
The incoming speaker and deputy speaker must resign from respective parties before taking oath, the party’s election manifesto says.
It said the parliamentary committees would be formed by the second session of the house and the opposition members would also be made chairmen of standing committees.
‘No political party or alliance will be allowed to boycott sessions. Parliament members will lose their membership if they remain absent for 30 session-days without permission.’
The manifesto pledges to make public the wealth statements of all elected representatives within 30 days after oath.
Members of the house will be allowed to walk out only if such attempts are made on certain important national issues, Khaleda said.
She pledged to hold discussion on the caretaker government system in the incoming ninth parliament and make amendments in the constitutional and legal provisions on the system to make sure that the general elections would be held every five years.
She said the Anti-Corruption Commission would be allowed to work neutrally and independently.
Khaleda, also the immediate past prime minister, pledged to establish a separate secretariat for the Supreme Court for total separation of the judiciary from the legislative and executive branches. ‘The incumbent government ravaged the independence of judiciary by nakedly interfering in its [judiciary] activities’, she alleged.
She also promised to take measures to ensure food security as well as to contain prices of essentials by increasing food production, provide subsidy for agricultural inputs, quality seed, adequate fertiliser and pesticides and power and diesel to genuine and marginal farmers.
The BNP’s manifesto pledges to form a pay commission for government officials and employees, update the labour law and take legal measures so that labourers in the private sector get due pay.
Khaleda also vowed to deal with any attempts to spoil communal harmony with an iron hand. ‘The state will ensure safety and security of all people, irrespective of their religious and ethnic identity, and will cooperate in upholding their constitutional, religious and social rights’, she said.
All-out cooperation will be extended to all international efforts to contain terrorism, she said vowing measures against malicious attempts to label Bangladesh an intolerant, extremist, radical and corrupt country.
She promised to implement the universal declaration of the United Nations on human rights. ‘Human rights were ruthlessly violated during the rule of the present caretaker government’, said Khaleda who was released on September 11 after one year of imprisonment.
She promised to scrap the special powers act of 1974. The act, termed ‘a black law’ by political and civil rights activists, has been used to curb freedom of expression and suppress political opposition.
The local government systems in district, upazila and union levels will be strengthened and made effective through elected representatives, she said.
Khaleda vowed to make the country free from illiteracy in five years. ‘The provisions of forming governing bodies and managing committees in educational institutions will be revised so that these institutions can be kept free from political influence.’
‘We will also take measures so that no child remains out of schools’, she said. ‘All girls will get free education up to graduation level.’
The BNP’s manifesto said quality health services would be ensured by appointing more physicians and providing technical and laboratory facilities across the country.
Khaleda promised to create an atmosphere so that more women could be elected to parliament and they could participate in the decision-making processes at all levels.
‘Women will be given preference in appointment and promotion. They will be involved in business and given loan at lower interests’.
The armed forces and law enforcing agencies will be more strong and organised as they will be equipped with sophisticated weapons and modern technology and training.
Merit, eligibility, expertise and seniority will be counted in appointment and promotion of civil and military administrations.
She said effective participation in international efforts to save the earth from global warming and climate change will be continued.
The BNP chairperson also pledged to take measures to stop intrusion of alien culture, to expand rail and road communication services and construct rural roads and culverts on a priority basis, take permanent measures in consultation with all stakeholders to ensure unhindered operation of Chittagong and Mongla seaports, construct Padma bridge, take steps to introduce science and information technology in all spheres of life, give khas lands to landless, reintroduce social safety net for poorer and destitute section of the society, introduce facilities to encourage expatriates to invest in Bangladesh and invest in local industries.
Public holidays on May 30 [the death anniversary of BNP’s founder Ziaur Rahman] and November 7 [national revolution and solidarity day] will be reinstated, she said.
The party prepared its last election manifesto before the cancelled January 22, 2007 elections but did not unveil it.
Key features of BNP manifesto
* Making Jatiya Sangsad centre of national politics
* Speaker and deputy speaker must resign from party posts, deputy speaker from the opposition, MPs to lose membership for absence for more than 30 days
* Elected representatives to disclose wealth statement in 30 days after oath
* Dealing with violence, terrorism with iron hand
* Tab on essential goods prices by increasing production
* Subsidy for farmers
* Measures against attempts to label Bangladesh intolerant, extremist and radical
* Education sector will remain free of political influence


Related News

Cyclone Remal: 40 dead animals found, 17 rescued hurt in Sundarbans

News Desk : The forest department officials on Tuesday said that so far they found 39 dead deer and a pig in the Sundarbans after the severe cyclone Remal that hit the forest on Sunday. Primarily they have estimated infrastructural damage of Tk 6.27 crore in the forest while the total damage, including animals ... Read more

Cyclone Remal claims at least 14 lives, affects nearly 37.58 lakh people in 19 districts

News Desk : Following its devastating impact into Bangladesh on Sunday night, Cyclone Remal has affected over 37.58 lakh people in 19 districts and taken at least 14 lives. While the cyclone has weakened into a deep depression, hundreds of villages in the southern parts of the country remain submerged. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department ... Read more

Alert issued as Cyclone Remal develops

News Desk : A weather alert has been issued by the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) as a low-pressure system in the southwest and west central Bay of Bengal gains strength, potentially developing into Cyclone Remal by Saturday. The system, currently moving northeastward, is expected to transform into a depression by early Friday. By Saturday, ... Read more

Cyclone ‘Remal’ likely to hit Bangladesh coasts on 26 May: Meteorologist

News Desk : Cyclone Remal is likely to make landfall between 6:00am and 12:00pm on 26 May in Bangladesh, affecting coastal areas from the Barguna in Barishal Division to Cox’s Bazar in the Chattogram Division, a meteorologist said today (21 May). The front of the cyclone may begin to enter coastal areas after 6:00am, ... Read more

5 consecutive days holiday for Eid-ul-Adha

News Desk : Government employees are scheduled to get five consecutive days off on Eid-ul-Azha. This includes two days of weekly holidays (Friday and Saturday) followed by another three days for Eid, according to government holiday list. Eid-ul-Azha is likely to be celebrated on June 17 this year.

Heavy rains, storms forecast for entire week

Schools open today after heatwave closures News Desk : The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) forecasts heavy rainfall with thunderstorms across the country this week, starting on Tuesday and lasting through Saturday. As per the analysis of mathematical model of rainfall index, Bangladesh is likely to witness heavy to very heavy rainfall with thunderstorms starting ... Read more

Waiting for the rain

Tawsia Tajmim As the sun blazes relentlessly, desperate craving rises for rain, for nothing soothes Mother Nature quite like its cool embrace. After a brutal month-long heatwave, residents of Chattogram, Sylhet, and Dhaka finally caught a break with some rain on 2 May. However, the downpour was not strong enough to completely wash away the ... Read more

Hajj registration extended till Jan 18

News Desk : The government, in a notice issued yesterday, extended the Hajj registration deadline for 2024 until January 18. It said aspiring Hajis would have to primarily deposit Tk 2.05 lakh, while the rest should be paid by February 29 for final registration. One has to pay Tk 5,78,840 under the general package, ... Read more

Dense fog disrupts communications across Bangladesh

News Desk : Cold and dense fog continued to disrupt life with road, air and waterways communication remaining suspended in the early hours of Tuesday as Bangladesh braces for this winter’s first cold wave likely to set in today. Authorities also confirmed until Tuesday the death of 14 people in cold-related diseases and road ... Read more

27,000 GPA 5 achievers not to get seat in public universities

Shahin Akhter Over 27,000 GPA 5 achievers in this year’s HSC and equivalent examinations cannot be admitted to the public universities due to fewer seats. A total of 92,595 examinees secured GPA 5 out of total 10,67,852 passed in the Higher Secondary Certificate examinations this year. But there are around 65,400 seats at the public ... Read more

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolts Dhaka, other parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck Bangladesh this morning, the United States Geological Survey said, with no immediate reports of damage. The earthquake jolted different parts of the country including Dhaka around in Ramganj of Cumilla at 9:35am, reports The Daily Star quoting Meteorologist Rubayet Kabir of Bangladesh Meteorological Department. The quake ... Read more

250cc Bajaj Pulsar N250 launched in Bangladesh

News Desk : Uttara Motors, the manufacturer and distributor of Bajaj motorcycles in Bangladesh, has recently launched The Pulsar N250 motorcycle. Pulsar N250 comes with a price tag of Tk339,999 and is available in three different colours. The motorcycle with a 250 cc oil-cooled engine has got dual channel antilock braking system (ABS). Indian ... Read more

HSC, equivalent exam results tomorrow

News Desk : The results of this year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations will be published tomorrow. The copy of the results will be handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tomorrow morning. Later in the day, the results will be officially announced by Education Minister Dipu Moni at a press ... Read more

Gold hits record with a bhori of Tk 106,376

News Desk : The jewelry makers of the country has increased 22-carat gold price by Tk 1,750 today. Tomorrow, the price of 22-carat gold will reach a historic high of Tk 106,376 per bhori. The new price is 1.67 percent higher than the previous all-time high of Tk 104,626 per bhori (11.664 grammes) recorded ... Read more

Gold’s price reaches a new peak

News Desk : Gold price in the country has surged to a record Tk1.04 lakh per bhori due to a rise in the rates of pure gold in the local market. The price of the best quality gold or one bar of 22-carat (11.664 grams) gold has been increased by Tk 1,750 to Tk104,626 ... Read more

Bangladesh permits 375cc domestically produced motorcycles

News Desk : Bangladesh government has allowed locally made motorcycles of up to 375cc along with the existing imported motorcycles of up to 165cc to facilitate the expansion of the local industrial sector. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, under the road transport and bridges ministry, on Wednesday issued a circular in this regard. It ... Read more

Four-day tourism festival begins in Dhaka

News Desk : A four-day long festival to boost local tourism will be launched on September 27 in Dhaka to celebrate World Tourism Day 2023. The Bangladesh Tourism Board under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism will organise the festival titled ‘Bangladesh Festival’ at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The festival will be ... Read more

Bangladesh Railway launches luggage vans with intercity trains

News Desk : To significantly increase the supply of perishable items, agricultural and other goods, Bangladesh Railway (BR) combined luggage vans with intercity trains on Sunday. The first van was combined with Sylhet bound intercity train “Joyantika Express”. Jayantika Express transported 4,600 kg of goods from Dhaka to Sylhet as Bangladesh Railway’s first intercity ... Read more

Bangabandhu Tunnel: Government sets toll ranging from Tk200 to Tk1,000

News Desk : The government has set toll rates for using the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel built under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram, ranging from 200 Tk for cars to 1,000 Tk for 4-axle trailers, which is slated for inauguration in September. The Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges issued a circular in ... Read more

516 people died in road accidents in June

News Desk : At least 516 people were killed and 812 more injured in 559 road accidents in June this year, said a Road Safety Foundation report published on Wednesday. Of the accidents, involvement of motorcycles was the highest 37.03 per cent and the highest 32.75 per cent people were killed in the motorcycle ... Read more