Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has denounced Leader of the Opposition GM Quader’s comments on the balance of the parliament while thanking the speaker at the start of the first session of the 12th parliament.
“Why did he take part in parliament if there is no balance there?” Quader asked at the offices of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in Dhanmondi on Wednesday. “His comments in parliament were his alone.”
The Jatiya Party, which formed the parliamentary opposition in the previous two parliaments, only won 11 seats at the Jan 7 election.
The ruling Awami League won an absolute majority of 223 seats and independent candidates made up the second largest group with 62 seats. Most of the independents are themselves involved in Awami League politics.
GM Quader, the Jatiya Party chairman, spoke on the matter in parliament on Tuesday.
While thanking Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, he said, “Judging by the number of members of parliament, balance has not been preserved in the current parliament. In terms of seats, the governing party has 75 percent of seats. Independents have 21 percent. And nearly all of them are members of the ruling party.”
“Only 3-4 percent are members of opposition parties. It is difficult to see a complete representation of the people in this parliament. The parliament will never be able to perform its duties perfectly.”
In response to a question from the media, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Quader said that the Jatiya Party chairman’s statement was a ‘violation of the rules’.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not speak in parliament yesterday. I only made a short speech for the sake of formality. GM Quader was the one who spoke. Under the pretence of thanking the speaker, he took the floor and then said things that he should not have.”
Quader said that the leader of the opposition gave a long speech.
“The topic was presenting thanks. He was not invited to deliver a long speech.”
“He violated the rules with his speech. He will have ample opportunity to speak in the future. You came to parliament and was elected as a leader. You came to parliament as leader and deputy leader following the formal process.”
Taking a dig at the Jatiya Party, Quader said, “After independence there was only one leader of the opposition. Now we have leaders and deputy leaders. They are 11 in all, which is about the size of a football team or a cricket team. Anyway, it was not right of him to speak that way.”