he chief opposition party’s MP Moudud Ahmed said the call bore no value. “It’s not consistent with the reality. That’s why we cannot respond to the President’s call.”
Zillur made the call during his opening speech at the 16th session of ninth parliament which began on Sunday afternoon. The BNP, however, preferred not to join the session in keeping with its recent tendency to boycott proceedings.
The President also stressed that the main opposition had failed to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities by not being in Parliament over the past four years.
“Give up the path of boycott and conflict. Give up the path of anarchy, strikes and blockades. What you want to say, come and present your views inside Parliament and allow democracy to flourish,” he urged.
But Standing Committee Member Moudud said, “I want to make it clear that we will not return to Parliament upon anyone’s call. We will go to Parliament to talk about the people’s interest. We will join (it) as a part of our movement.”
While speaking at a discussion at the National Press Club, the senior BNP leader also said, “Our past experience on calls from the President, Prime Minister and the Speaker to return to Parliament is really bitter. We had placed proposals on different national issues after returning to the House.”
“But we were not allowed to discuss any of those,” he added.
He claimed: “None of our pending notices on different important issues including foreign policy, border killings, law and order, prices and the stock market, have been accepted.”
The BNP and like-minded parties have been boycotting Parliament since the 13th session demanding the reinstatement of the caretaker government provision. The 16th Parliament session, presided over by Speaker Abdul Hamid, on Sunday also began without the BNP MPs.
The opposition party had said it would join Parliament but only if the ruling coalition allowed passage of a bill to restore the caretaker system. The Speaker has also said he would not be preferential in the House.
However, Moudud alleged that the ruling Awami League MPs start speaking ill of leader Ziaur Rahman and his family “when we join Parliament”. “This is against the rules of procedures.”
“Even though the Speaker has given two rulings over that issue, the ruling party members don’t obey them. We were forced to walk out in protest after a minister made abusive remarks even after the ruling,” he added.
The former Law Minister was speaking at the discussion organised by the Bangladesh Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha to mark the organisation’s 11th founding anniversary.
He also warned the Awami League-led Grand Alliance government that their ‘conspiracy to hold’ the next parliament elections under a partisan government would not succeed.
“The BNP will not take part if the election is held under the present Prime Minister’s administration or any interim partisan government. We will not let that election take place.”