Although DCs don’t have a direct influence on the implementation of development projects, they can give instructions to concerned authorities and monitor if those instructions are being followed or not.
However, the question of how much the previous instructions have been followed in implementing the policy plan remains as well, after the Awami League government being in power for 14 years at a stretch.
In many cases, development projects don’t go as planned, due to non-compliance and obstruction from politically influential locals (cent per cent of whom are from the ruling party) as well as local public representatives. Even if it does, the quality is sub-standard.
When the DCs went to meet the president on the last day of the three-day conference, he told them not to misuse their power and tolerate corruption. He also commented that corruption is the biggest hindrance towards development. Several ministers have given instructions to the DCs, on issues falling under jurisdiction of their respective ministries.
Then again, some proposals have also been submitted on behalf of the DCs, which include making arrangements for inmates to connect with their relatives on video calls, increasing executive magistrates’ authority, forming coordination committee to collect revenue, activating 24-hour education channel and bringing fallow land under farming.
However, the most discussed topic of the conference this time was the issue of DCs roles in election. Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan has given them election-related guidelines on the last day of the conference.
In reply to reporters' question in this regard, he said, “The people are asking for a fair and acceptable election. The whole world is looking forward to that as well. Your role would get priority and be the key to fair election. So, you yourself be ready to present the nation with a fair election.”
On this topic, what can be said with emphasis is that the issue of fair election doesn’t entirely rely on the election commission, let alone DCs. Fair election isn’t possible without political good will. The election commission or the administration has totally failed to perform a neutral role in the past two national elections.
What they will do in future depends on various equations. First of all, will all parties participate in the election? Even if they do, are the rulers ready to accept people’s verdict? It must be kept in mind that a fair and acceptable election is a big challenge for not only the DCs and the election commission but also for the ruling party.