BNP back in Parliament
Published: 2013-06-03 12:06:47.0 BdST Updated: 2013-06-03 14:22:26.0 BdST
Opposition lawmakers, led by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, joined the 18th session of the ninth Parliament after abstaining for 83 consecutive workdays.
The sitting of the 18th session of Parliament started at 5.30pm with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
The day's proceedings started with recitation from the holy Quran.
Twenty minutes later, 38 opposition MPs, led by Khaleda, walked into the House and the new Speaker welcomed them.
Earlier, in a meeting held at the Parliament Building, the BNP Parliamentary Party decided to join Parliament. BNP chief and Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia presided over the meeting attended by the lawmakers of BNP and its allies.
Most of the lawmakers of the BNP-led opposition were on the verge of losing their parliamentary membership because of their prolonged absence.
Article 67 of the Constitution specifies that lawmakers who remain absent for 90 consecutive working days will automatically lose their memberships.
The Speaker’s welcome address ended before the opposition MPs entered. Chaudhury in her address said that an acceptable solution can come through dialogue in parliamentary democracy.
The opposition MPs were welcomed by Leader of the Parliament Sheikh Hasina, Deputy Leader Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Awami League Advisory Council Member Tofail Ahmed, Information Minister and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haque Inu, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, Jatiya Party lawmaker Rowshan Ershad and Workers’ Party President Rashed Khan Menon.
At the end of the meeting of the BNP Parliamentary Party, Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farrouque told reporters, “A decision has been made to join Parliament. We’ll join the House led by Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia after the session starts.”
Thirty-five BNP MPs including Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar, Jamiruddin Sircar, Barkatullah Bulu, AM Mahbub Uddin Khokan, Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, Jafrul Islam Chowdhury, Muhammad Mosharraf Hossain, Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie, Abul Khair Bhuiyan and ABM Ashrafuddin Nizam attended the session.
Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) Chairman Andaleeve Rahman Partho and Jamaat-e-Islami lawmakers ANM Shamshul Islam and AHM Hamidur Rahman Azad were also present.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has attended only eight of the 370 working days of the current Parliament. The BNP as a party attended 54 days.
It means that the BNP boycotted Parliament for 316 days in 17 sessions of the current Parliament – the highest boycott in the history of the country’s parliamentary democracy.
President Abdul Hamid convened the session on May 14.
Finance Minister Muhith is expected to present budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year on June 6.
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