Hasina draws flak for poor law and order, high prices

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DHAKA - Just over two years into office, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is facing dissent and criticism from some of the party veterans and alliance partners for poor law and order and high prices of essential commodities.

While main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has been unrelenting in its criticism of the Hasina government, senior leaders of the ruling Awami League (AL) have also joined in public criticism.

Ministers, however, continued to assert that both the price situation and law and order was under control, the New Age newspaper said Tuesday.

Among the alliance partners, former president H.M. Ershad has been critical of Hasina’s handling of the economy and political issues.

An array of Left parties, which are part of the Hasina-led alliance, also have been vocal in their criticism and say that they would like to pose as the “third alternative” to the Awami League and the BNP.

The latest to join criticism from the Awami League leadership is Tofael Ahmed, who was political secretary to Hasina’s father and Bangladesh’s founding leader, slain president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Tofail Ahmed urged “an environment for politicians to do politics”.

“It does not require anyone to work in the grass roots to become a minister. People become ministers if people high up in the parties so wish,” he said.

Abdul Jalil, a former Awami League general secretary and minister, Sunday said the rising prices, deteriorating law and order and shortage in the supply of gas and electricity were aggravating public sufferings.

He also said that the law and order situation in the country has not been satisfactory.

“Incidents of killing are taking place in the country almost everyday. Although it is not new, the government should ensure trial for every killing and check such crimes,” said Jalil.

“Political values are now in jeopardy… politics is no longer in the hands of politicians. It has gone into the grip of businessmen and the rich,” Jalil said at a book launch function.

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