Speakers at roundtable urged the government to make upazila parishads functional saying that holding only election to the local government units is not enough. They said local government bodies in Bangladesh did not get the real autonomy even after 43 years of the country’s independence, while the MPs have made the things even worse through their meddling in upazila parishads. SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance, arranged the roundtable discussion, entitled ‘The 4th upazila elections and local government reform issue’ at Mukti Bhaban Paltan, Dhaka.
SHUJAN secretary Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, its executive member Ali Imam Majumder, politicians Ruhin Hossain Prince and Humayun Kabir Hiru and former chairman of Nalitabari upazila Badiuzzaman Badsha, among others, spoke at the program.
Prof Tofail Ahmed, a local government expert, presented the keynote paper while Justice Kazi Ebadul Haque moderated the function.
Addressing the roundtable, Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar said that arrangement of the upazila elections is essential, but the polls will not bring solution to the existing problems over the effectiveness of the upazila parishads. “The arrangement of election is not enough,” he said, adding that the upazila parishad should be made functional. Dr. Alam also said that the mandatory provision for the elected upazila parishad representatives to take advice from the local MP is unexpected.