Ensure strike-free politics, Dhaka businessmen urge Hasina


Dhaka : Bangladesh’s business community Tuesday urged former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, leading a nine-party coalition into the parliamentary poll next Monday, to ensure political activities without violence and industrial strikes.

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They also sought uninterrupted power and gas supply, and improved communication infrastructure for the country’s speedy economic development, should she be voted to power, Star Online reported.

Hasina, in turn, asked the entrepreneurs and traders to adapt to humane working conditions. “It is not fair that you will lead luxurious life, eat well but poor people will starve.”

Much of the industrial violence in Bangladesh is due to poor wages and working conditions, she pointed out.

Both Hasina and her political rival and the other former prime minister Khaleda Zia have boycotted parliament after losing an election and agitated for months in the past.

Hasina and her allies paralysed the economy for weeks in the run up to the ninth general election in January last year, before it was cancelled.

She blamed “military dictators” for the impact of political violence on the economy.

“It was the military dictators who had created the violent political culture in the country. I do politics for the development of the country, not for making money,” The Daily Star newspaper quoted as saying.

“It was because of uncertainty and panic among the people,” she added.

Hasina pledged special steps including special allocation to encourage entrepreneurship among women.

The businessmen said purchasing power of the people needed to be enhanced to sweep away poverty from the country.

She asked the business leaders to put emphasis on creating markets within the country in efforts to create employments.