The Awami League-led government steps into the fourth year of its third consecutive term today with tremendous successes in many areas which has taken the country to a dignified position in the world.
The AL-led 14-party alliance assumed office on this day in 2019 for the third term after a landslide victory in the 11th parliamentary elections, defeating its arch rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
Despite achieving massive successes, the government has also some failures in some sectors. It is grappling with the sky rocketing prices of essential commodities and corruption.
AL insiders and political analysts said ahead of the next national election scheduled for 2023, the government has to face tough challenges of meeting the expectations of the people.
Some issues, including intra-party conflict and US sanctions on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and seven of its former and incumbent officials, will appear before the government in the coming days, they said.
The government may face crisis over the next election as the BNP-led alliance has demanded holding of the next election under a ‘neutral administration’ through an amendment to the Constitution, they observed.
Asked about Awami League’s 13 years in office, party presidium member Faruk Khan said the government has changed the scenario of the country by overcoming all odds, including the coronavirus pandemic.
He said they may face tough challenges of tackling the new corona situation and conspiracies being hatched by a quarter at home and abroad.
“We have to go through a challenging time in future. If people remain united against militancy and perpetrators of the evil acts, we will able to face any kind of challenge,” he added. Former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique told the Daily Sun that the AL government dealt with all the challenges successfully during its 13 years in office.
He said keeping continuing the work of the mega projects amid corona pandemic had been a challenge, but the government kept them running. The government tackled the corona situation and ensured vaccination for the people, he added.
“Ahead of the next national polls, people want the government to fulfill all its electoral pledges, especially the zero tolerance policy against corruption,” Prof Siddique said, adding that people would also want the government to establish rule of law as per its poll pledge.
About the ongoing President’s dialogue with the registered political parties, the former Dhaka University VC said it was a praiseworthy initiative for the sake of the country’s democracy.
“Some parties have already declared that they will boycott the talks with the President. But the government must take a move to bring those parties in the talks to overcome the crisis,” he said.
Against this backdrop, the Awami League-led government made significant progress in all fronts.
The government reduced country’s poverty rate to 20 per cent while it was over 50 per cent during the past BNP regime.
Per capita income was about $500 and remittance inflow was about $ 9 billion during the BNP regime.
Now per capita income rose to $ 2554 while remittance inflow increased to over $ 22 billion.
After assuming office, the Awami League-led government sent 74,68,132 workers abroad with jobs from 2009 to 2021.
Despite political crisis, AL insiders said the government achieved a lot during its 13 years in office as mega projects, including Pamda Bridge, Metro Rail, Bangabandhu Tunnel will be opened this year.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has turned into a middle income country,” AL joint general secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim told the Daily Sun.
“But the journey was not easy. Conspiracies were hatched at home and abroad to hinder the country’s progress. Despite all obstacles, the government has been moving forward to build Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Farther of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” he said.
The last two terms of Sheikh Hasina-led government has been considered one of the most successful ones since the country’s independence.
International community highly acclaimed Sheikh Hasina last two terms for boosting country’s economic growth despite the global recession.
The Awami League-led grand alliance contested the December 30, 2018 national polls and won a landslide victory defeating the BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front.
The AL-led alliance secured 288 seats while Jatiya Oikya Front bagged only seven seats.
Political analysts say people still expect the government will ensure good governance and work for rooting out corruption as per poll pledges to make the country a peaceful abode in South Asia.
They also stressed that a section of Awami League leaders and activists, who are allegedly involved in corruption, nepotism and other misdeeds, should be brought to book.