Some recent incidents appear to be worrying indications of a vested group trying to create political turmoil over non-issues in a bid to destabilise the country in a bid to oust the ruling Awami League government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
But at what cost and will they get popular support for such attempts is a question the vested group or rather groups must question themselves.
First, the torching of buses on the day of the election to a vacant parliamentary seat sent shivers across the crowded Dhaka city as it reminded the residents of similar inhuman acts ahead of the 2015 general elections killing more than 100 passengers. Many of the injured were maimed for life.
It was more worrying as such an act of arson amid a threat of a second wave of COVID-19 that has stressed the economy and have left thousands of people unemployed.
Also, there have been sporadic incidents of killings or attacks being labelled as “political rivalry” in recent days. These incidents must be probed to find why and who to ensure peace in the country as well as decent politics as we enter 50 years of independence.
Police probe on the torching of nine buses several days ago has found those arrested by scrutinising CCTV cameras belonged to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which is allied to the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami.
In a special parliament session to mark the birth centenary of the country’s founder, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina questioned why such acts of violence by the “BNP.”
She said her government was working around the clock to control the pandemic and keeping the economy on track, but how anyone can resort to such actions in the name of politics.
“Why and for whose interest?” she asked accusing the BNP of joining elections only to create anarchy when they lost. The BNP, she added do not appoint polling agents and boycott the elections halfway through always.
“Then they resort to anarchy by setting buses on fire.” The premier said asking “What do they want?”
Bangladesh, to the great surprise of financial pundits, has defied Covid-19 to have surplus current account mainly due to increased remittance from abroad and lower trade deficit. With an import-oriented economy, to have the surplus current account was completely unexpected, economists said. (https://newsnextbd.com/bangladesh-defies-pandemic-to-have-surplus-current-account/)
The latest report on World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected in 2020 per capita GDP of Bangladesh will be US$ 1,887.97 at current prices that could surpass neighbouring India.
The BNP, whose leader Khaleda Zia is on parole after being jailed for graft on humanitarian grounds after COVID-19 gripped Bangladesh, ruled Bangladesh in the post-1975 period under assassinated General Ziaur Rahman who founded the right-wing political party bringing together 1971 war criminals, anti-Awami League and anti-India elements most of whom were against the birth of independent Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, brought her party back to power in 1996 after 21 years in the political wilderness.
She won her second term in office in the 2008 elections and also won the 2014 and 2019 general elections with a firm grip on the affairs of the country.
Massive development works across the country and exemplary economic performance despite COVID-19 has increased her popular support as the electorate is against returning to the days of street protests and seek political stability, which the country has enjoyed after the 2014 polls.
Thus the BNP-Jamaat alliance or any other vested groups must weigh in the public pulse before trying to create turmoil or else face a total disintegration based on the facts of its falling number of parliamentary seats.