Parties in the ruling Awami League-led alliance demand immediate formal discussion to decide the fate of the alliance and their position in parliament.
Talking to New Age, leaders of the parties said that they wanted to know AL’s formal stance on the issues as its general secretary Obaidul Quader on January 18 suggested that the allies should be sit on the opposition bench in parliament.
‘If the allies of the Awami League-led alliance play the role of opposition in parliament that will be better for them and the government as well,’ Obaidul Quader said while inspecting the preparations for its rally at Suhrawardi Udyan held on Saturday.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president Hasanul Haq Inu told New Age on Monday that the future of the AL-led alliance and the ‘grand alliance’ must be decided through formal discussion.
‘The Awami League can’t dictate the position of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal. It will decide its position and the Awami League will decide its position. We have been participating in the political movements as well as in the elections as a party in the alliance since 2004,’ he said.
The Awami League has to answer the questions arisen in public mind following formation of the cabinet with only AL members and celebration the electoral victory alone by the party, Inu said.
Workers Party of Bangladesh politburo meeting in January 19-20 resolved to remain in the AL-led alliance and sit on the Treasury bench.
‘There is no logic of sitting on the opposition bench as the Workers Party MPs being elected from the ruling alliance won’t be able to give any note of descent in parliament as it happened in the ninth parliament during the passage of the 15th amendment to the constitution,’ WP politburo member Quamrul Ahsan said.
‘AL MPs threatened Workers Party MPs that their seats would be vacated as per the Article 70 of the constitution if they oppose the bill placed by the ruling party,’ Quamrul explained.
Bangladesh Tarikat Federation chairman Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari said that he would seek appointment of the prime minister soon to discuss the issue.
‘We participated in the election with AL electoral symbol boat and urged votes showing development works and plans of the ruling party not to be on the opposition bench under Ershad’s leadership,’ he said.
After securing 288 of the 300 parliamentary seats for the AL-led grand alliance, including 257 for the Awami League alone, in the December 30 general election marred by massive fraud and flaws, the ruling party started forcing its allies to sit on the opposition bench as the major opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party with six seats decided not to join parliament.
Following a series of bargaining, the Jatiya Party with 22 seats decided to sit on the opposition bench.
Parliament secretariat officials said that it would be an unprecedented incident if the rest nine lawmakers elected from the AL allies contesting the polls from the AL-led electoral alliance with AL electoral symbol sat on the opposition bench.
‘It is unprecedented and deserves a ruling of clarification if it happens,’ parliament secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan said.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Showdhury said that she would decide only when such issue was placed in parliament.
Dhaka University law teacher Md Mahbubur Rahman observed that the Article 70 of the constitution would not be applicable to the nine lawmakers as they were nominated by their respective parties.
‘But, the Article 70 will be applicable to the unregistered political party Bangladesh Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal leader Moin Uddin Khan Badal as he was elected as AL nominated candidate,’ he said.
Earlier on January 16, AL presidium member the AL-led alliance spokesperson Mohammad Nasim, while attending a programme organised by the Workers Party at its office on Topkhana Road, said that the alliance would remain beside Sheikh Hasina for establishing secular democratic Bangladesh.
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