Political party finances
ON AUGUST 1, almost all English dailies reported last financial year’s audited financial figures. However, one daily provided the best highlighted summary presentation stating the four main parties make up the ‘circus’ of Bangladesh democracy! The term ‘circus’ is appropriate as ours is a democracy closely linked to ‘demoncracy’, the closest term that one can find to describe our diabolic one-person rule, surrounded by countless yes-persons!
This ‘demoncracy’ is practised through violent hartals resulting in many indiscriminate killings and injuries; destruction, looting and burning of private vehicles, shops as well as assets of the ‘not so rich’ traders and shopkeepers, who may ignore any ‘hartal’ that is imposed by arson, bombs and bullets and other violent methods. There is nothing peaceful or democratic about it. Here ‘might is right’ rules the event which is more often than not, carried out for two or more days, preceding or succeeding a weekend; not only by party men but also reinforced by professional hooligans.
The summary with financial figures reveal that the party in power, the Awami League, has the highest income of Tk 10 crore while the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has the lowest, only 17.9 per cent of the AL income (Tk 1.79 crore).
Surprising was the income of Jamaat-e-Islami, which was just over Tk 6 crore. The Jatiya Party also had a good collection of Tk 4.8 crore. Probably, many wealthy people who earlier gave funds to the BNP have shifted to the party now in power, for obvious reasons. However, the sad failure of the Awami League in the recent mayoral elections indicates that it made very poor returns on their investment.
Except for the Awami League, which showed a cash surplus of Tk 1 crore, all other parties showed cash deficits, with the BNP having the highest deficit of Tk 46.9 lakh, followed by Jamaat Tk 13.88 lakh and the Jatiya Party Tk 9.6 lakh.
What puzzles me is who finances these sizeable deficits. If it is commercial banks, then we should know which banks finance these political parties that have no tangible fixed assets as such against which overdrafts are usually allowed. We should keep away from such banks.
A critical voter
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