Govt denies pressuring BNP MPs-elect to take oath

Special Correspondent

26th April, 2019 11:03:52 printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday ruled out BNP’s allegation of creating pressure on their MPs-elect for taking oath as lawmakers of the 11th parliament.

“Those who have taken the oath, they have done that willingly. The government has not created any pressure on them. Rather they took the oath under pressure from the people of their respective constituencies,” she told reporters at a briefing at her official residence Ganabhaban.

The premier came up with the remark just a day after a BNP lawmaker Zahidur Rahman Zahid took the oath.

The BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front bagged only eight seats on December 30 national polls.

Bringing allegation of vote rigging and other irregularities, the Jatiya Oikya Front decided not to take the oath.

But, defying the alliance’s stance, two Gono Forum MPs—-Sultan Mansur, elected with the sheaf of paddy, the electoral symbol of BNP and Mokabbir Khan took oath on March 7 and April 2 respectively.

Zahid, who was elected from Thakurgaon-3 constituency, also took his oath in defiance of the stance of the party.

Responding to a question on the issue, the premier said the government is not creating any pressure regarding any matter concerning BNP.

“One of their lawmakers took the oath. Why will the government create pressure on him? That lawmaker himself said that he took his oath to go by the pressure of the people of his constituency,” she said.

The premier also spoke on the much-talked-about parole of Khaleda Zia, who has been serving 17-year jail term on two separate corruption charges.

“Filing an appeal is a must for the parole but the government is yet to receive any application till now. The government has nothing to do here,” she said.

“Bangladesh Nationalist Party is a political party and they (BNP leaders) run the party through their own decision. It is a political decision of the party about its course of action. Why will the government create pressure here?” she said.

Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, said Khaleda Zia was not arrested on political ground.

She said corruption cases were filed against her during the caretaker regime and the cases ran for 10 years.

“If the government wants to make interference, it could do that much earlier. The government does not make any influence over the proceedings of the court,” she said.  

Responding to another question, the Awami League president said that splitting political parties was not her goal.

She said that it is better to leave the matter on those, who have founded their parties, to run their organizations.

“It is not a matter to split a party,” she said, adding that Awami League does not need activists from other parties.