Dhaka, July 10 (bdnews24.com)
Former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan on Sunday urged the government to adopt a strict stance on India's move to erect a dam at Tipaimukh across the north-eastern borders.
Speaking exclusively to bdnews24.com at his Gulshan home, he, however, refused to speculate on the possibility of his constituting a new political party.
The ex-minister had spent Saturday in his electoral region in Narshingdi district and returned to the capital late at night, he said.
Asked to comment on his raising a new political party, Bhuiyan said, "I don't want to say anything on it right now."
The news media during the past few days ran news on the ex-minister's move to form a party soon.
Replying to query on the Tipaimukh dam construction, the former BNP leader said, "The proposed dam, if at all built, will impact not only the Bangladeshis, but also huge populations of Mizoram and Manipur of India in various adverse manners."
"People from both countries must protest the dam construction together. Before that, we must forget our petty differences and render all cooperation to the government strengthening its position to reach a consensus and resolve the crisis."
About the Grand Alliance's performance, Bhuiyan said, "Only six months is not adequate to evaluate a government. The government succeeded, however, in reining in fertiliser and commodities prices."
"The farmers are yet to get fair prices for their products. Law and order has deteriorated and extra judicial killings haven't stopped.
"The government seems to be following a dual policy as regards cancellation of the cases filed against political leaders and activists during the emergency rule. This is not acceptable.
"Oppressing and persecuting the opposition will not bring any good to the promotion of overall democratic environment."
On ways to render the parliament more effective, the veteran politician said, "It was a good move for the government during the first session of the ninth parliament to constitute the parliamentary standing committees."
"It was a brilliant idea too to invite the opposition to chair some of the parliamentary standing committees. Sacrificing another deputy speaker's chair in favour of the opposition would be even more magnanimous, to my mind.
"The excuses the opposition has been making for boycotting the parliament so far are unacceptable to me. The opposition should join the parliamentary sessions, highlight the mistakes and omissions of the treasury benchers and advocate the people's causes."
Bhuiyan said the 2009-10 budget looked like a realistic one and demanded that the government should undertake long-term rehabilitation programmes for victims of the cyclone 'Aila'.