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JS sends letter to EC over Siddique’s membership

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 13th July, 2015 09:55:13 PM
  • Print news

Parliament Secretariat on Monday sent a letter to the Election Commission to resolve the issue of parliamentary membership of Abdul Latif Siddique, who was expelled from the ruling Awami League.


“I have sent the letter to the Election Commission to take decision on Tangail-4 constituency lawmaker Abdul Latif Siddique,” Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury told daily sun.


The AL sent the letter to Parliament Secretariat on July 5 informing it of the decision to expel former minister Abdul Latif Siddique from the party.


Siddique was axed from the cabinet and expelled from the party’s presidium and primary membership posts amid a huge criticism following his alleged derogatory remarks about prophet, hajj and Tabligh Jamaat last year.


Parliament secretariat sources said the letter was signed by party’s general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam to determine Siddique’s fate.


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led cabinet first expelled him from the cabinet and the Awami League Central Working Committee, the highest policymaking body of the party, scrapped his presidium and primary membership on October 12 and October 24 respectively last year.


He was in jail for several months as he has been accused in a number of cases in Bangladesh for hurting religious sentiment.


The issue came on the table again as he was released on bail on June 29.


After the letter, a rumour is rife in parliament whether Siddique would retain his parliamentary membership.


As per previous instances, BNP in the eighth parliament expelled its lawmaker Abu Hena from the party.


When the question arose over his parliamentary membership, the then Speaker Jamir Uddin Sircar gave decision to keep his membership under Article 70 of the Constitution. 


The same kind of incident took place during the ninth parliament. Jatiya Party expelled Sathkhira-4 lawmaker Golam Reza from the party but he retained his parliamentary membership.


Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak told reporters that they would sit for a meeting to analyse the issue.


“The decision will be taken after going through the previous instances and the Representation of People Order,” he added.


Former Election Commissioner Sahul Hossain claimed that a lawmaker would lose his membership after he/she is expelled from the party.


“Awami League expelled Abdul Latif Siddique as he disobeyed the party’s decision. His membership will be scrapped if the party wants. Because, he would not be elected lawmaker without the party’s nomination,” he told reporters recently.


On September 28 last year, Siddique told a New York programme that he was strongly against hajj and Tabligh Jamaat.


Dozens of cases were filed against him for hurting the religious sentiment.


In the wake of movement by the Islamist parties and criticism, Siddique returned home on November 23 via India.


On November 24, he surrendered before the court, which sent him to jail.