Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday placed a proposal for holding a general discussion in Parliament under section 47 of the Rules of Procedure to mark the 50 years of the country’s independence.
The proposal was adopted unanimously by a voice vote on Thursday after the general discussion. Fifty-nine MPs from across the broad joined the discussion and spoke for 10 hours and 45 minutes.
President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday gave a commemorative speech, marking the Golden Jubilee of independence.
Joining the discussion, Jatiya Party secretary general Mujbul Haque said there is no doubt what the country has achieved, but corruption and irregularities need to be eradicated to implement Bangabandhu’s dream.
"Bangabandhu said corruption must be eradicated. But that was not done. In order to realize Bangabandhu's philosophy, corruption must be stopped,” he said.
“Plundering in banks, default loans and money laundering were not Bangabandhu's dreams. We’ll have to stop all these things,” said the JP MP.
Another JP lawmaker, Anisul Islam Mahmud, said all the achievements would be destroyed if the institutions of the country are not strengthened.
“Though 50 years have elapsed since independence, our institutions were strengthened enough. So, we’ve to strengthen our institutions. Otherwise, all the achievements will go in vain,” he said.
He said there is no denial that Bangladesh has witnessed significant development. “Since election is the main principle of democracy, I urge the Prime Minister that the EC has to be strengthened.”
Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon said social disparity continues to expand in the country even though Bangladesh has attained massive development.
“The disparity has widened and gotten acute. Bangladesh is seeing unprecedented development under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina as there has been marked progress in all economic indexes…. but the assets and wealth of the country have got concentrated in the hands of a few people,” he said.
Expressing dismay over the participation of businessmen in politics, Menon said, "We’ve noticed today that a military-civil bureaucracy-rich group has now developed centering the ruling power.”
Noting that Bangabandhu subordinated the bureaucracy under public representatives, Menon said now the public representatives are under the bureaucracy.
“We’ve to take the development and democracy forward simultaneously, and resist all sorts of communal activities,” he said.
Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said Bangladesh has now become as the role model for development in the last 50 years of independence, proving all speculations of international communities wrong.
He said many international personalities had predicted that Bangladesh might not survive as an independent country and even if it survives it would have to depend on foreign aid. “But Bangladesh is now a role model proving their predictions wrong,” he said.
The agriculture minister urged all to get united to implement the ideology of Bangabandhu on the occasion of the golden jubilee of independence.
AL MP Shajahan Khan said the ideology of Bangabandhu and the spirit of Liberation War are the only values to take the country forward.
He urged the people of Bangladesh to fight all the conspiracies against the country. “We all would have to be united under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.”
BNP MP Rumeen Farhana said Bangladesh was liberated as an independent country with the motto of democracy.
“But in the last one decade, democracy after development, limited democracy has been introduced in that country,” she said.
Rumeen said, “More development, less democracy” culture is going on in the country just like Ayub's (Pakistani autocratic ruler) basic democracy.
BNP MP Harunur Rashid slammed the government saying that corruption is everywhere, especially in the health and education sectors.
He said there is no democracy and the rule of law in the country.