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AL govt not safe politically, economically: Manna

Nagarik Oikya Convener tells the

Published : Tuesday, 20 February, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 368

AL govt not safe politically, economically: Manna

AL govt not safe politically, economically: Manna

Awami League govt is not safe politically and economically, Nagarik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer. Excerpts are:

DO: What changes occurred in Bangladesh politics after the January 7 general election?

Mahmur Rahman Manna: Politics and movement is an art. You have to develop  movement gradually to oust a government. We were on the brink of bringing down this fascist Awami League government before January 7 general election but unfortunately it failed.
After the election we started our movement from two steps behind. At the same time I want to say that this government is not safe  politically and economically.

DO: What are the achievements and failures of the ruling coalition and the movement of  the opposition alliance?

MRM: The demand of our movement was the  general election under a neutral government.  

We could not achieve election under a neutral  caretaker government. But we proved that  the  people don trust this government.

So, we are in a win-win situation.

An analysis of the election shows that it has given birth to internal conflicts within Awami League, the ruling political alliance has been broken and their international diplomacy has  collapsed.

In 2014 and 2018 general elections Awami League misled the international community on the issue of terrorism. But in the recent general election the international community did not accept Awami Leagues  narrative. 

Obviously, the ruling party is politically bankrupt.

DO: Before January, you said, Awami League will not be able to hold the general election. But they are still in power. Now you are saying that Awami League will not be able to stay in power for five years.

Are you making such statements only to keep  the leaders and activists in good spirits, or is there any basis in these statements?

MRM: Now they are in power using force without peoples vote. But they cannot keep their electoral commitments to bring down  prices of essential commodities or solve the  unemployment problem.

Besides, the foreign exchange reserves are falling, but repayment of foreign loans became overdue.  The government has to repay $ one billion per month.

The interesting fact is that, China and Russia are giving more pressure than the European countries and the USA to repay their loans.

Everything has its lifecycle. This fascist  governments decline began after reaching the apex of its lifecycle. Now its a matter of time for the collapse of this government.  

DO: You always compare the present movement with 1969 and 1990 movements, but what similarities or dissimilarities are there between them?  

MRM: Awami League government has become isolated from people like the governments of 1969 and 1990.  The previous governments realised this fact and quit power in the face of the peoples protests.
But, this government is clinging to power by destroying state machinery and the institutions.

They are patronising opportunistic government officials, corrupt businessmen and some terrorist groups at the grassroots by ignoring peoples interest and holding the people hostage.

The earlier governments respected the opinion of the people to some extent but the Awami League government has no respect for the  people.

That is why it can be said that present  movement is quite different from the earlier ones.

DO: Student politics played a significant role in all the past movements to bring down governments in 1969 and 1990. But the opposition could not involve students with the movement since 2014. Why this happened?

MRM: We developed student movement according to our organisational strength. We launched mass signature campaign against government by involving our student organisations.

In fact I think Chhatra Dal has not been patronised in last 16 years. Because of this, they could not form committees at public universities. Due to the weak organisational structure, Chhatra Dal failed to involve students with the movement for restoration of democracy.

I think, BNP has to strengthen its student organisation to be able to start a movement against this government in the universities. If they cannot strengthen their student organisation it will be difficult to oust this unelected government.

DO: In the simultaneous movement BNP is in the driving seat. Do you find any loophole in BNP politics?

MRM: BNP could not turn around after  October 28, they were  absent on the streets till January 7. But compared to in 2014 and 2018 BNPs politics was more matured during the  2024 election.

DO: Will it be possible to oust the government through peaceful means?

MRM: The movement has several phases, one of which is peaceful movement. In this way, the context to oust the government is created by mobilising public opinion. Next steps will be taken according to the movements direction. But I think in the final stage confrontation is indispensible to topple any government.

DO: To what extend foreign powers can influence Bangladesh  politics?

MRM: Global and regional big powers try to exert influence over smaller countries all over the world. 

However, these countries do not have the ability to control peoples movement in any  country.

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