Several treasury and opposition bench lawmakers today called upon the Speaker of the parliament to summon Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) to the Privilege Committee of the House to grill the anti-corruption watchdog for its derogatory remarks about the parliament.
Awami League lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta urged TIB to apologize before the nation within the next three days for its recent comment.
“Otherwise, this parliament will suspend TIB’s name from the list of NGO’s (operating in the country) while passage of Foreign Donations Act in the House. In that case, even the prime minister will not be able to do anything (in favour of TIB),” Suranjit said speaking on a point of order.
“You (TIB) will also have to pledge that you will never ever make comments on the parliament and the country’s constitution,” Suranjit added.
MPs also said the main object of TIB is to undermine Bangladesh, tarnish its image as well as hinder the country’s progress.
On October 25, TIB in a study based on present Sangsad’s second to sixth session from June 2014 to July this year said MPs participation in question-answer sessions and discussions on important notices was less, and only six percent of 388 working hours were spent on formulation and passage of the 30 laws.
The study said the main opposition, the Jatiya Party, failed to play its due role in the present parliament.
Terming the JP so-called opposition, the TIB said the party was working as “B-team of the government”.
Replying a query, its executive director Iftekharuzzaman termed present parliament a stage of puppet show.
Replying to another query, he put stress on the holding of an inclusive and credible election to make the parliament effective.
Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad speaking on a point of order first raised the issue yesterday in parliament.
Lambasting TIB, she raised questions whether it has any jurisdiction to make such derogatory remarks on opposition and the House.
“TIB has undermined the country, its people, the constitution as well as the House by making the comment that the present parliament has turned into a stage of puppet show,”
She called upon TIB to analyze activities of opposition MPs in parliament since restoration of the country’s democracy in 1991 and then make comment on the main opposition of the present parliament.
Participating in the discussion, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said, “TIB’s remarks are totally out of their jurisdiction. It has revealed their study at a time when two foreigners were killed and some foreign missions over reacted on this issue. TIB’s only aim is to put obstacles in the path of advancement of Bangladesh.”
“I urge the Speaker to summon TIB immediately before the Privilege Committee so that we can grill it on the source of its income and expenditure,” he said adding the main objective of TIB like NGOs are to humiliate Bangladesh in international arena.
Suranjit said sedition charge should be framed against TIB for its derogatory statement against the sovereign parliament.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, AL MP Abul Kamal Azad, Jatiya Party MP Kazi Feroz Rashid, JSD MP Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal and independent MP Rustam Ali Farazi also criticized TIB.