The main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will participate in the upcoming budget session of the 9th Parliament, scheduled to begin on June 3. Speaking at a discussion meeting held at the National Press Club on Friday, BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said, “We will participate in the upcoming budget session of Parliament for the sake of the people and in our own interest.
But we cannot say for how many days we will attend the session; that will depend on the government’s attitude.” “If the government refrains from making discourteous remarks against our party’s leaders and allows us to speak in favour of the people’s interests, only then will the decision be taken regarding the number of days we will stay in the House,” he added.
Moudud, who is also a standing committee member of the party, said the government has made Parliament dysfunctional through its absolute majority in the House.
“All sorts of laws and national budgets have been unilaterally passed in Parliament. The 9th Parliament is not a functional one indeed,” he asserted.
Moudud said the government has called upon the Opposition party to take part in Parliament. “We will participate in the House for our own purpose and for protecting the people’s interests, not for responding to the government and Premier Sheikh Hasina’s call,” he added.
The upcoming budget session of the 9th Parliament could be the last one under the tenure of the current government. As per rules, the session should begin on
According to Article 67 (1) (b) of the Constitution, a member of Parliament will have to vacate his seat if he/she is absent from Parliament, without leave of Parliament, for 90 consecutive sittings.
The BNP will be compelled to join the upcoming budget session of Parliament to save
their memberships. The duration of the session is expected to be extended, which will put the Opposition lawmakers’ membership in jeopardy if they do not join.
The BNP was absent from the House for 83 days. They attended Parliament on March 18, 12th session, after boycotting 77 days of proceedings. The 13th parliamentary session was adjourned on April 30 amidst empty Opposition benches.
“The Opposition are not allowed to speak in Parliament even though our leader is slated to speak there. How can we stay if such things happen again in Parliament?” he said.
Moudud criticised the government for indulging in politics of vengeance, adding that repression on the Opposition party leaders and activists and a dialogue with the government cannot be simultaneously carried out. “On one hand, you (Sheikh Hasina) are calling on us to take part in Parliament and to sit with the government for a dialogue; on the other hand, our lawmakers are being arrested, which is blatantly unprecedented,” he added.
Referring to the study report over a non-party caretaker government (CG) issue published in a daily newspaper, Moudud said at least 90 per cent of the people have already expressed their opinion in favour of the
“The government is engaged in making remarks over the CG issue that contradict its own stand. It had been forced by the international communities, including the United Nations (UN), to agree to hold a dialogue with major political parties for ending the prevailing political crisis. But now it has just made a U-turn on the issue,” he alleged.
“There is no alternative before the government. It will have to restore the CG provision to the Constitution as international communities, including the UN, have already asserted the importance of a meaningful dialogue for paving the path of the next general elections under the oversight of a CG,” he said.
Shadhinata Forum organised the discussion. Forum president Abu Naser Mohammad Rahmatullah was in the chair. BNP leaders Sanaullah Mia and others also spoke at the function.
-With The Independent input