Senior leaders of the party say the issues they will focus on include militancy, crime, corruption, drug abuse, and water, air, and river pollution
The ruling Awami League is planning to focus on various social issues and highlight the government’s successes and development work to woo voters ahead of the national election.
Senior leaders of the party say the issues they will focus on include militancy, crime, corruption, drug abuse, and water, air, and river pollution.
The government has already launched an anti-militancy operation and declared “war” on drugs. Drives against other issues will be launched very soon.
Several Awami League leaders told the Dhaka Tribune that the government has already taken steps to ensure a healthy environment for people.
They said the government will take stern measures against water pollution, land and water body grabbing, and corruption.
Awami League’s Forest and Environment Affairs Secretary Delwar Hossain said they have already spoken with several environment experts.
“Awami League government is very much optimistic to save water, rivers, and the environment from pollution and our war against all kinds of pollution will continue for the sake of the people,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
He claimed, however, that these moves were not linked to wooing voters. “It is our duty,” he added.
Awami League presidium member Lt Col (retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan said, “We will definitely build a country free of social problems such as crimes, militancy and terrorism, drug abuse, and corruption,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
He said the incumbent government will ratchet up drives against social challenges before its current term ends.
BNP yet to come up with a strategy
The Awami League’s arch political rival BNP is still uncertain about the issues it will use to appeal to voters.
BNP leaders claimed that during their time in power, they had tried to protect the environment but now they have no plan to launch a movement over this particular issue.
The party’s Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told the Dhaka Tribune that environmental protection issues are dependent on the government’s policies.
“We banned polythene during our tenure. We worked actively to protect the environment, rivers, and forests,” he said.
“We are not in office currently. We have been waging movements from time to time on social issues,” he added.
BNP leaders alleged that the government was barring them from being on the streets, which is preventing them from reaching the people.
Rizvi said they tried reaching people by organizing meetings and seminars. “We are cooperating with people who are vocal about these [social] movements,” he added.
BNP leaders claimed that forests and rivers are being polluted while rivers and water body are being grabbed by the ruling party men, using muscle and administrative powers.
Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, the BNP standing committee member, said BNP’s activists participated in last year’s save the Sundarbans movement.
“We could not continue our movement because of obstacles created by the government,” he alleged.
Senior BNP leaders said they were addressing media briefings, attending seminars and TV talk shows to talk about these issues.