12:00 AM, March 22, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 22, 2011

Diatribes at JS again

BNP walks out

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Staff Correspondent

BNP-led opposition lawmakers stormed out of the parliament yesterday protesting use of vulgar diatribes by a ruling Awami League lawmaker against Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia.
Ruling party MP Prof Nazma Akhtar launched the broadside against late president Ziuar Rahman and Khaleda Zia in response to BNP MP Nilufar Chowdhury Moni's speech in which she used aggressive words to criticise Banganbanhdu and the present government.
Participating in the discussion on a thanks giving motion on the president's address, Nazma Akhtar launched a blistering personal attack on Khaleda Zia accusing her of extending "hospitality" to Pakistani occupation army in Dhaka Cantonment during the liberation war in 1971.
She also claimed that Khaleda's husband Zia refused to accept her after the liberation war ended due to her role during the war. "It was Bangabandhu who saved Khaleda Zia's family," she said.
Irked by Nazma Akhtar's speech, the opposition lawmakers stood up and started shouting in protest at the ruling party MP's speech.
Amid the protest Nazma Akhtar kept on hurling diatribes against Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda Zia and their sons.
Deputy Speaker Col (retd) Shawkat Ali, who was presiding over the sitting at the time, did not interfere. Instead, he increased Nazma Akhtar's speech time by three minutes.
As soon as Nazma Akhtar completed her speech, a number of opposition lawmakers including Moudud Ahmed sought floor to speak, but the deputy speaker did not give them floor.
Some opposition lawmakers left their seats, gathered in front of the speaker's podium, and started shouting loudly demanding expunction of the vulgar diatribes used against Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia.
An opposition lawmaker even threw his file into the air, which fell in the VIP gallery nearby.
Without microphones, a number of BNP lawmakers at that time started hurling expletives at the deputy speaker and the government.
When the BNP lawmakers were staging the protest, some ruling AL lawmakers were also shouting in a seeming competition with the opposition.
Refused floor by the chair, the opposition lawmakers staged the walk out at 7:15pm amid desk thumping by treasury bench MPs.
Prime Minister also the Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina was present during the ugly pandemonium.
Later in a media briefing, the opposition lawmakers demanded expunction of the vulgar diatribes uttered by AL lawmakers. They did not return to the House proceedings yesterday.
Yesterday's incident proved again that lawmakers did not pay heed to the speaker's repeated call for not using vulgarity and unparliamentary language in their speeches.
At the beginning of yesterday's sitting in the afternoon, Speaker Abdul Hamid criticised BNP lawmaker Asifa Ashrafi Papia for her use of indecent language against him on Sunday.
The BNP lawmaker on Sunday in an indecent and aggressive way demanded that the speaker switches on her microphone.
Papia's microphone had been switched off after the time allocated for her speech had been over. But the opposition chief whip requested the speaker to give her additional three minutes.
The speaker initially did not agree to give the additional time to Papia as she used vulgarity in her speech.
At that time, she let out a verbal attack against the speaker without a microphone, but still it could be heard from the press gallery.

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