The pre-election manifestos announced by political parties are nothing but stunts, said Jyoti Prakash Dutta, president of the Chattogram chapter of the Bangladesh Economic Association, at a dialogue in Chattogram on Saturday.
"I am seventy-years-old and I have never seen a pledge of national development in the manifestos of political parties. Development has no connection whatsoever with their manifestos," he said, adding, "All of these are just stunt shows and do not reflect the expectations of the people."
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Young Power in Social Action (Ypsa), in association with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), organised the event at the Hotel Agrabad in the port city.
Joint Director of CPD Avra Bhattacharjee delivered the keynote address.
In the main article Avra said, "According to a 2016 household expenditure survey, 3.5% residents of the port city are living in the lower poverty line while 13.7 % are living in the upper poverty line. But in proportion to that, people of Chandpur, Rangamati, Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Lakshmipur are standing far above the national poverty line."
CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun said, "Political parties are obligated to the development of the population and they have to implement the pledges in their manifestos. The people need to question whether the party they elected to form the government is fulfilling their promises."
Ypsa CEO Md Arifur Rahman said, "Our political parties present their manifestos during the election and civil society gets encouraged by that. But it turns out to be a disappointment how quickly the party forgets their promises once elected."
It seems that a lot of progress has been made at the macro level but at the same time it is disheartening to see the root-level people never getting the benefits of that progress, he added.
Among others, Mustafizur Rahman Chowdhury MP, a member of the standing committee on the Ministry of Finance, was present at the meeting as chief guest while Chittagong University senate member and Chairman of NGO Ghasphul Manzur-ul-Amin Chowdhury was present as a special guest.