Storm brews in JS as opposition MPs return

After a long span of time the Jatiya Sangsad session became lively again on Sunday when 38 opposition lawmakers entered the session at 5:12 pm and participated in the House debates.

Earlier, a meeting of the parliamentary party of the BNP was held at the Sangsad Bhaban that started at 4 pm. After a one hour meeting the opposition lawmakers directly entered the session without any formal briefing to the media. Speaker of the House Abdul Hamid congratulated the opposition lawmakers amidst welcoming applaud of the members of the treasury bench. The Speaker thanked the opposition members and said that with their participation the Sangsad would regain its life again and expected that it would be able to play its due role.

At the beginning of the session a motion was placed before the speaker on behalf of Kazi Shah Mozammel Hussain Kaikobad, a Comilla-3 BNP lawmaker for an extension of his leave for another 90 days. Kaikobad has been abstaining in the Sangsad session with the permission of the speaker due to his physical illness. The members of the treasury bench and the opposition unanimously supported the motion and the leave was granted by the Speaker.

Another BNP lawmaker Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury has been abstaining in the session with the permission of the Speaker as he is detained in connection with a case of the International Crimes Tribunal.

The Prime Minister and leader of the House Shekh Hasina and the BNP chairperson and leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia entered the House almost at the same time from two different directions, the entrance being faced each other. After Khaleda Zia took her sit, Moudud Ahmed sat next to her, to presumably play the role of the deputy leader of the opposition, not officially declared though.

Whip of the House ASM Firoz, a treasury bench lawmaker began the deliberation commenting on the president’s opening speech at the Jatiya Sangsad. He alleged that the BNP was directed by the dictation of the Jamaat-e-Islam. The opposition lawmakers protested the comment thumping on their respective desks.

The Whip also described all the successes of the government achieved during the last three years of the incumbent government and claimed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina the nation was heading towards a perfect direction.

He also added that the government and the opposition together could be able to hold fair, free and neutral elections under a political government.

The deliberations of the lawmakers followed peacefully except for a minor altercation between the two female lawmakers Faziletunnessa Bappi of Awami League and Rehena Akhter Ranu of BNP when the latter commented that the AL chief had taken blessings from the former Jamaat chief Gholam Azam.

After the break for the Maghrib prayer the session resumed when the Speaker declared the end of deliberation on the opening speech of the president.

Mainuddin Khan Badal of JSD took the floor and criticised some portion of the statement of the BNP MP Rehena and requested the Speaker to expunge some words from her statement. The Speaker assured the House that he had already expunged them from the proceedings.

Whip Zainul Abdin Farruque then took the floor and protested the remark of MP Badal saying that the treasury bench lawmakers had earlier, on many occasions used unparliamentarily words at the House criticising late president Ziaur Rahman and his son Tarique Rahman.

Chief of whip of the ruling party, Abdus Shahid, said that the main opposition BNP led four party alliance had joined parliament to save their memberships and collect their salary from parliament.

The leader of the House Sheikh Hasina and the opposition leader Khaleda Zia were in the House till the end of the first break and did not return to the House when it was resumed after the Magrib prayer.

News Source: 
The Independent