BNP may join JS today
Says decision to return not for saving membership but to speak for people
The BNP-led opposition may join parliament today ending its boycott for over two months.
Opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque yesterday said the BNP Parliamentary Party (BNPPP) will meet at 4:00pm today to decide on joining the House session.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will chair the meeting at the parliament building where lawmakers of Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) were also requested to attend.
"We want to join parliament not for keeping our membership, but to speak for the people on various important issues,” Farroque said at a press conference at the media centre of the parliament.
Opposition lawmakers belonging to BNP, Jamaat and BJP last joined the House session on June 2 last year.
They walked out of the session that day protesting at the arrest of Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of Bangla daily Amar Desh, and the closure of the paper.
Since then, the opposition lawmakers boycotted all the 73 sittings until yesterday saying there is “no atmosphere in the House to talk”.
According to the constitution, a lawmaker's seat falls vacant if he remains absent from parliament for 90 consecutive sittings without prior permission of the Speaker.
The issues BNP is likely to raise include share market crash, soaring food prices, sliding law and order, extra-judicial killings, killing of Bangladeshi nationals at border by Indian border forces, government's negligence in bringing back the Bangladeshis trapped in Libya and the treaties signed with India.
The opposition lawmakers have already submitted notice to the parliament secretariat for holding discussion on different burning issues, said Farroque.
Talking to The Daily Star, a number of opposition parliamentarians said they made preparations to launch a blistering attack on the government over its performance.
According to the parliament secretariat record, most of the 39 opposition parliament members are absent from the House for 73 days at a stretch.
Of them, BNP MP Barkat Ullah Bulu is absent for 82 days while BNP MP Kazi Mofazzal Hossain Kaykobad and BJP MP Andaleeve Rahman Partho are both absent for 78 days.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who has attended only five sittings of the ninth parliament, is absent for 75 days.
At the press conference, the opposition chief whip also protested a parliamentary sub-committee report on corruption in Bangladesh Biman and termed it "politically motivated to tarnish Khaleda Zia's image".
The sub-committee formed by the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry has recently come up with a report that said Shameem Iskander, younger brother of Khaleda Zia, and BNP leader Mir Nasir and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad were involved in massive corruption in the national flag carrier.
A number of national dailies published news based on the report.