Skipping parliament is wrong: Hasina

Special Correspondent

14 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday reiterated her call for the lawmakers-elect from the BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front to join parliament.

“I urge the MPs-elect to join parliament and place their opinions here,” she said while responding to a supplementary question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Fakhrul Imam.

Without mentioning the names of the Jatiya Oikya Front lawmakers-elect, Sheikh Hasina told the House that skipping parliament is a wrong decision.

“If they have any opinion, they will get opportunity to place it before the House,” the premier said expressing wonder why they are not taking this opportunity.

After suffering a debacle in the December 30 parliamentary elections, Jatiya Oikya Front decided not to take oath.

But two lawmakers-elect from Gano Forum, a component of Oikya Front, have already expressed their desire to join the new parliament that started its journey on January 30.

Oikya Front led by Dr Kamal Hossain got eight parliamentary seats while Awami League-led grand alliance secured 288 seats in the December 30 national polls.

Bringing allegations of vote rigging and irregularities, Oikya Front rejected the poll results and demanded that the government hold a fresh election.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, described Oikya Front’s decision not to join parliament as wrong.

“They’re not joining session as they got poor number of seats. It is their wrong political decision,” she told the House with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

Sheikh Hasina earlier said they will not consider the opposition by the number of seats they got; rather they will take cognizance of their any justified proposals. 

The premier said her government wants to build the country with the support of all. “That’s why I sat with all the political parties and urged them to participate in the polls.“

Sheikh Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said people are now getting the fruit of development her government has made in the country in the last 10 years. “As people are getting the fruit of development, they cast votes the ‘boat’ symbol in the polls,” she said. “People are the owners of their votes and they cast for votes for whoever they like,” the premier added.

Over the JP lawmaker’s query about her intention to go to village after her retirement from politics, Sheikh Hasina said her government is going to provide all sorts of civic facilities in villages.

“I’ve grown up in the village and came to Dhaka at a stage, but have not torn the love for village. My mind still remains in my village. It’s my desire that whenever I go into the retirement, I’ll live in my village,” she said. Responding to another question from Rustam Ali Farazi, the premier said her government has been working relentlessly to make Bangladesh a dignified country in the globe.

“The nation imbued with the spirit of independence is marching towards peace, development and prosperity. Due to whole-hearted efforts of all, the international community considers Bangladesh with due honour,” she said.

The premier expressed her desire to work for the country’s development and prosperity until her last breath.

“I must build Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous and peaceful abode in South Asia. The bilateral relations with other countries will improve reach to further height,” she said.

Responding to another question, the premier said some 97 states, governments and organisations greeted her after formation of the government for the fourth term.

In reply to another question from treasury bench lawmaker Mamunur Rashid Kiron, she said anti-liberation elements tried to tarnish the country’s image through politics using the religious sentiments.

“But such attempts have failed due to our efforts. We remain alert so that this vested quarter cannot destroy the prevailing communal harmony,” she said.

The premier also warned that stern action will be taken against those who will be found involved in attempts to mar the communal harmony through propaganda.

“Legal action will be taken against those who will carry out propaganda at home and abroad to tarnish the image of the country,” Sheikh Hasina said.