Parliament yesterday witnessed heated debate on the large number of union parishad chairmen and members getting elected unopposed and the diesel price hike.
Speaking on a point of order, BNP MP Harunur Rashid said many MPs in the current parliament and the chairmen and members of union parishads are “not-elected” because they faced no opponents in the elections.
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Pandemonium erupted at the House chamber as treasury bench MPs strongly criticised the remark, raising a hue and cry to prevent the opposition MP from delivering his speech.
Many ruling party MPs started speaking without microphones, condemning Harun’s remarks.
At one point, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said she could not hear anything and asked everyone to calm down. Then she put on the headphones to hear what Harun was saying.
The speaker, who was presiding over the sitting, then asked the BNP MP to withdraw his remarks.
At one stage, Harun told the speaker that he was withdrawing his remarks on request made by the Speaker.
But at the same time, the BNP MP said he would walk out in protest of the Speaker asking him to withdraw his comment.
Harun and the other BNP MPs then walked out of parliament, but returned later.
Pointing to many incidents of violence in the UP polls, Harun said the places where Union Parishad polls are taking place are turning into places of panic.
Quoting Article 11 of the constitution, he said elected representatives must ensure effective participation of the people at all levels of the administration.
“But we already have not-elected MPs in this parliament,” Harun said.
Ruling party MPs then began an uproar, demanding that the Speaker expunge Harun’s remark from the parliament proceedings.
The Speaker then urged Harun to withdraw his statement.
Harun replied, “Let me raise the issue first. I want an explanation from you [on unopposed election of MPs and chairman and members in the UP polls]. I will withdraw my statement if your reply satisfies me.”
Several ruling party MPs then stood up and asked Harun to withdraw his statement first.
Amidst the uproar, Harun withdrew his statement.
He later said over 300 chairmen and members of different UPs were elected unopposed in the two phases of the polls.
“Can we call them elected public representatives? By whom were they elected?” he asked.
Criticising Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal for his recent remarks that petty incidents were taking place in the UP polls, Harun said more than 40 people lost their lives in the violence.
“Can we still call it a petty quarrel?” he questioned.
Later, MP Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, chairman of Tarikat Federation which is a component of the AL-led alliance, said Harun walked out of parliament because of his fear of criticism.
JP MPS SLAM DIESEL PRICE HIKE
Jatiya Party MPs Mujibul Haque Chunnu and Rustum Ali Faraji said the increased price of diesel and kerosene will be a heavy burden on the people.
They demanded that the price is reduced for the sake of easing public sufferings.
“The country’s common people, particularly the poor, are now suffering due to the diesel price-hike. I would like tell the leader of the House and prime minister either to kindly reduce the price, or withdraw the recent decision, or make an alternative arrangement,” said Mujibul Haque from Kishoreganj-3.
Mujibul Haque, also secretary general of the Jatiya Party, said the government took the decision at a time when the people were going through a very tough time amid the rising prices of daily essentials.
“The diesel price-hike causes further increase in shipping costs and the cost of essentials. It increases public misery,” he added.
“Rustum Ali Faraji from Pirojpur-3 said the government should either reduce diesel price or subsidise the fuel. The government will have to give the subsidy for public interest,” he said.