Vol. 4 Num 293 Wed. March 24, 2004  

MPs speak out
BNP should not ignore the home truths
Now the ruling party lawmakers themselves have addressed some key issues that the detractors of the government and civil society members have been talking about for quite some time. The ruling party MPs spoke out at their parliamentary party meeting in a fashion not witnessed in the past. It is a good thing that they felt the need for ventilating their opinions and the party leaders also gave them a patient hearing.

Criticism from within always tends to have more bite, for obvious psychological reasons. The top BNP leaders have finally heard from their own men that things are not shaping up well in some important areas of public concern. For example, the MPs have advised the prime minister to downsize the cabinet by dropping the 'corrupt and inefficient' ministers who are a burden to the party. Issues like price spiral and precarious law and order situation were also raised. The prime minister did not quite agree with them, but could not refute the charges labeled against the ministers either.

The MPs deserve appreciation for having done a great service to the country as well as their own party. The BNP high command cannot ignore certain truths which need little elaboration or proof. Time is running out, but it is still not too late for the party to take corrective steps.

The MPs who have expressed their lack of confidence in some ministers have actually acted in the best traditions of democracy. Unfortunately, our brand of it never had enough space for dissenters and non-conformists. That of course has not been anything positive for the political culture of the country. The MPs, by speaking out, have also shown that criticism of the government is not, nor should it be, a sole prerogative of the opposition. The party leaders, for their part, should realise that there is truth in what is being said about the alliance government's performance. It should now open its eyes, being no longer under the impression that some opposition evil spirits are trying to mislead people, and take appropriate action before things go beyond repair.