BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said the lawmakers of the party have taken oath of office on instructions from its acting chief in exile Tarique Rahman. The secretary general, who himself did not take oath, claims that the decision was taken as per directives from the party highcommand in London. Harun-ur-Rashid from Chapainawabganj-3 earlier the day said they were joining parliament on instructions from Tarique.
Four BNP lawmakers-elect in the December 30 national election took oath as members of the 11th parliament on Monday afternoon. The four MPs are Harun Or Rashid from Chapainwabganj-3, Aminul Islam from Chapainwabganj-2, Ukil Abdus Sattar from Brahmanbaria-2 and Mosharraf Hossain from Bogura-4 parliamentary constituencies.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administered the swearing-in at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, our correspondent report from the spot. They took the oath just four days after another BNP-lawmaker elect, Zahidur Rahman, took oath as MP in a surprise move on April 25 against the party’s decision of not joining parliament.
Even though Mirza Fakhrul has claimed that the BNP MPs have taken oath as per the party high command’s decision, political analysts are viewing this as a face saving stand of the party. They have raised question as to why the revelation has been made after the oath taking. If actually the decision was taken previously then the BNP could inform media about it earlier, they opined.
Pointing to the recent remarks of BNP leaders including Mirza Fakhrul himself that BNP lawmaker Zahidur Rahman who had taken oath earlier was under government pressure and that the party later expelled him for his decision to take oath, the analysts also raised question why Fakhrul himself had refrained from taking oath.
They said it is clear from the course of events that the BNP MPs-elect have taken oath going against the party high command and that it makes obvious that there is no chain of command inside the party. The latest announcement made by BNP secretary general is nothing but a ploy to cover up the helplessness and chaotic situation in the BNP top brass, political analysts observed.
BNP took part in the December 30 national election and secured victory in only six seats out of 300 parliamentary constituencies. Besides, Gono Forum bagged two seats in the election. Seven out of the eight MPs-elect have already taken the oath. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who was elected from Bogura-6 constituency, he did not take the oath.
With today’s four lawmakers’ oath, 299 MPs-elect out of 300 in the 11th parliamentary polls have so far been sworn in. BNP along with Gono Forum and some other parties joined the election under the banner of Jatiya Oikyafront. Earlier, Gono Forum's two MPs-elect Sultan Mohammad Mansur (Moulvibazar-2) and Mokabbir Khan (Sylhet-2) were sworn-in on March 7 and April 2 respectively.
After the December 30 national election, BNP and Gono Forum equivocally rejected results of the polls and brought allegations of vote rigging, ballot stuffing and widespread violence. Harun Or Rashid, one of the four BNP MPs-elect who took oath as members of the 11th parliament today, said they took the oath in line with the decision of party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
“We took the oath in line with the directive of our party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman. I was given the job as spokesperson of BNP in the parliament, and I will try my best to discharge the duty in the house appropriately,” he said. Harun, BNP lawmaker-elect from Chapainwabganj-3, was talking to reporters after he along with three other BNP MPs-elect took the oath at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban around 5:45pm.
The three others are Aminul Islam from Chapainwabganj-2, Ukil Abdus Sattar from Brahmanbaria-2 and Mosharraf Hossain from Bogura-4 parliamentary constituencies. BNP’s six leaders including its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir were elected in the December national election but all except Fakhrul took the oath as members of the 11th parliament.
Responding to a query about Fakhrul’s oath, Harun said, “It is his (Fakhrul) personal matter. But our party has given us consent to take the oath,” he added. When asked about the oath of Zahidur Rahman Zahid from Thakurgaon-3 constituency, who has been expelled from BNP for taking the oath violating the party’s decision, Harun said that he (Zahid) made an apology before the party yesterday for taking the oath going against its decision and the party will decide his fate in its next meeting.
Harun also said by taking part in the parliament, they will raise their voices for mounting pressure to the government to hold national election immediately under the management of a non-party caretaker government. “Alongside this, we will also address the country’s prevailing situation and people’s suffering in the parliament,” Harun said.
After taking the oath, Ukil Abdus Sattar, told the newsmen at the parliament complex that they took the oath with the consent of their party. Later, the BNP lawmakers went to the grave of the party's founder Ziaur Rahman's grave in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area and offered prayer there.