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Friday, September 18, 2015, Aswin 3, 1422 BS, Zilhaj 3, 1436 Hijr

Gas, power price hike issue rattles 14-party alliance
Anaet Shawon
Published :Friday, 18 September, 2015,  Time : 11:02 PM  View Count : 0
An uneasy situation prevails in the Awami League-led 14-party alliance on the issue of electricity and gas price hike.

Alliance partner Workers Party of Bangladesh claimed that the government did not consult the alliance leaders before increasing the price of electricity and gas. There is no need for the alliance since the government does not feel the necessity to take their opinion on such a grave issue.

The ruling party leaders said that the 14-party is an ideology-based alliance and it was formed on the basis of the spirit of the War of Liberation to fight militancy and terrorism. Political issues are discussed but it is not necessary to discuss every issue in the meetings. If the government takes any major decision their representatives who are in the Cabinet can raise their objection to the decision.

Other alliance partners said that when the 14-party meeting was held the Workers Party did not raise the issue. So why are they now announcing a seven-point demand? They asked.

Opposing the government decision of increasing power rates and transport fare, Workers Party on Friday announced a seven-point demand including reducing the power tariff and transport fare and revising the gas price for domestic use.

Fazle Hossain Badsha, General Secretary of the party, said increasing of power, gas prices and transport fares will aggravate the condition of the common people. He termed the hike of power price illogical as price of oil has decreased significantly in the international market.

"There is no necessity to keep the alliance alive as no decision was taken to address 14-party concerns," Badsha urged the alliance to hold a meeting soon to discuss the matter.
Badsha, also a lawmaker, urged the government to reassess the decision of hiking prices of these utility services, otherwise the Workers Party will announce the next course of action, he warned.

While Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) kept silent after Prime Minister's warning to her party leader. Sheikh Hasina, visibly annoyed, had directed all not to make defamatory comments against a party that is an ally of the ruling party and asked all to remain alert to all kinds of conspiracies against the 14-party alliance.

General Secretary of JSD Sharif Nurul Ambia said, "Though, our opinion was not sought our party stands against the current price hike."

 "The decisions were made by not even taking the opinions of the Awami League leaders so there is question of asking us about it," he lamented.

Another leader of the 14-party alliance said, "I do not know why they (Workers Party) have announced a seven-point demand. Don't they a have Minister in the Cabinet?"

AL Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, "Our 14-party alliance is made up of pro-liberation forces and it is an ideological alliance and it was formed on the basis of the spirit of War of Liberation to fight militancy and terrorism."

"Political issues were discussed in the 14-party meeting. If they have any arguments about the government's decisions they can discuss it in the Cabinet meetings as they have representatives in the Cabinet," he said.

Asit Baran Roy, Joint Secretary of Communist Kendro, said, "Resentment of the AL allies lasts as long as their party meetings last, after that it evaporates."


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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