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26 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 April, 2019 02:01:26 AM
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More BNP MPs-elect may join JS

Prompt action to be taken against Zahid: Fakhrul
aRAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD, Dhaka
More BNP MPs-elect may join JS

More BNP MPs-elect are likely to take oath as members of the 11th Parliament following Zahidur Rahman Zahid's oath-taking yesterday defying party decision. Zahid was elected a Member of Parliament on the BNP's ticket from the Thakurgaon-3 constituency in the December 30 election last year.

Meanwhile, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their party will take prompt action against Zahidur Rahman Zahid for committing an organisational offence by taking oath as an MP violating its decision. He becomes the first among the six BNP MPs-elect to take oath. He followed the path of two Ganaforum lawmakers, Sultan Muhammed Mansur and Mukabbir Khan, who had earlier taken oath by ignoring the decision of their party and Jatiya Oikyafront.  

BNP insiders indicate that more party lawmakers-elect, except party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, are likely to follow suit before the deadline to join Parliament expires on April 30.

An official of the parliament secretariat, preferring anonymity, yesterday said two more BNP lawmakers-elect are likely to take oath before April 30.

The lawmakers are Aminul Haque of Chapainawabganj-2 and Md Harunur Rashid of Chapainawabganj-3 constituency. Of them, Aminul Haque is likely to take oath of Monday, the official said.

On their behalf, some people have already enquired with the parliament secretariat about the oath-taking proceedings for the two lawmakers-elect, the official added.

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administered oath to Zahid at her Parliament office at 12 noon. Parliament secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan conducted the oath-taking ceremony. With this, a total of 295 lawmakers-elect, out of the total 300, lawmakers-elect have taken oath. Five BNP MPs-elect are yet to take oath.

BNP leaders said it was Zahid's personal decision to join Parliament and the party would take disciplinary action against him for violation of the party

directive in this regard.

Another lawmaker-elect of the BNP, Ukil Abdus Sattar, who has been elected from Brahmanbaria-2, said he was thinking about whether to join Parliament or not.

Aminul Islam, yet another BNP lawmaker-elect from Chapainawabganj-2, said he was yet to take any decision in this regard. “We are still hopeful that the party would take a positive decision in this regard,” he added.

Harunur Rashid, the BNP lawmaker-elect from Chapainawabganj-3, said Zahid's oath-taking was an individual decision. “I’m still waiting for the party's decision. There is still time,” he added.  

Zahid got a surprise victory in the last parliamentary poll where the  Jatiya Oikyafront managed to obtain eight seats from among a total of 300 constituencies. He defeated his nearest rival Imdadul Haque, an Awami League leader who contested the election as an independent candidate  by a margin of about 4,000 votes.

However, the Oikyafront, where the BNP is the major component, rejected the poll results over alleged vote riggings.  

In his immediate reaction, Zahid admitted that he took the oath defying the party's decision. He also admitted that he could be expelled from the party. “People have elected me as a lawmaker. I have taken oath to meet their expectation,” he claimed.

Parliament Secretariat sources said Zahid went to the Parliament building at about 10:30am with a formal letter to the Speaker, expressing his desire to take oath on Thursday. After taking oath, he went to the office of the Parliament secretary to sign in the signature book and received his identity card.

Chief whip Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury, whip Iqbalur Rahim and Abu Syed Al Mahmud Swapan, among others, were present at the oath- taking ceremony.

Earlier, there were speculations that the BNP lawmakers-elect might join Parliament following the example of two Ganoform MPs.

In his reaction, BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy yesterday told reporters that Zahid's oath-taking was his personal decision and the party would take organisational action against him. “It's his (Zahid’s) personal decision and the party will take action against him. Those who take such decisions play with people's votes and will be treated as mass enemy,” he said.  

Earlier, after rejecting the poll results, the BNP said that their lawmakers-elect would not join Parliament. But some lawmakers-elect recently expressed their desire to join Parliament to talk for the people in their respective constituencies. They said they repeatedly requested the party leadership to reconsider the party's decision over joining Parliament, but the party standing committee at a meeting on Monday reconfirmed that party decision not to join the House.

At a function on April 19, BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed said that they took the decision in consultation with the party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman, who is now in London in self-exile.  

"Our party's decision is not to take oath by our party MPs-elect. It'll be considered as an organisational offence if anyone is sworn in breaching the decision. Zahidur Rahman has committed such an offence," Fakhrul said adding that there is no reason for their party to change its decision of not joining parliament.

The five other BNP MPs-elect must take oath by April 29 if they want to remain members of the current parliament.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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