Says Khaleda-led opposition after boycotting president’s speech
The BNP-led opposition lawmakers yesterday walked out of the inaugural session of parliament and boycotted President Iajuddin Ahmed’s address.
They said they were not interested to hear a president who had “violated the constitution”.
BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) also blasted the treasury for not “making good on its pledge to elect deputy speaker from the opposition”.
After the break for Maghrib prayers, BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury rose from his seat, seeking the floor. But new Speaker Abdul Hamid declined to let him speak, saying that the president was going to address the legislature.
Without a microphone, Salauddin said they would not attend the president’s speech.
In reply, the speaker said, “After all, he is your president. You should hear him speak.”
Moments later, BNP, Jamaat and BJP lawmakers led by Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia staged the walkout. They did not return to the House yesterday.
Talking to reporters at the entrance to Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury said, “We have walked out before the president’s speech because he breached the oath to defend the constitution.”
He failed to hold national polls within the constitution-stipulated three months after dissolution of parliament, the BNP leader continued.
“Thanks to his role, the caretaker government lasted two long years, denying people the rights to vote and have a constitutional government.”
Salauddin also accused the president of trying to implement the “minus-two formula” during the two-year rule of the caretaker government.
Replying to a query, he said, “We chose him as president does not mean we have to accept all his activities.
On election of the deputy speaker, BNP Vice-president and lawmaker MK Anwar said, “They (ruling party) have elected deputy speaker without any discussions with us, even though they had pledged the post to the opposition.”
Earlier, BNP Parliamentary Party (BNPP) picked Joynal Abedin Faruque as chief whip of the opposition.
It however did not select deputy leader of the opposition.
Iajuddin was elected president after AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury resigned the presidency following a row with the BNP high command.
He assumed the chief adviser’s role at the end of October 2006 apparently on dictates from BNP.
But his failure to discharge duties neutrally pitched the nation into political turmoil. On January 11, 2007, he stood down as chief adviser, declared a state of emergency and suspended the ninth parliamentary election then scheduled for January 22 that year.
Fakhruddin Ahmed took over as the caretaker administration chief and had a new council of advisers.
Led by Chairperson Khaleda Zia, the BNP lawmakers entered the House wearing black badges in condemnation of what they referred to as “introduction of one-party rule” on January 25, 1975.