The BNP lawmakers walked out of parliament last night following an argument with two senior Awami League MPs over holding the upcoming Dhaka city polls in a free and fair manner.
This is the first time the BNP staged such a protest in the 11th parliament.
Speaking on a point of order, BNP lawmaker Harunur Rashid said the chief election commissioner has ruled out the involvement of legislators in any local government elections.
But the AL has formed two coordination committees, led by its two senior lawmakers, for the January 30 polls to Dhaka north and south city corporations, he said.
In reply, AL’s Tofail Ahmed, also the party coordinator for the Dhaka north city polls, said the BNP never recognise an election as free and fair until its candidate win it.
As per the Election Commission’s electoral code of conduct, lawmakers are not allowed to get involved in the electioneering for the candidates of local government polls, he added.
Terming the rule ridiculous, Tofail said those enjoying government benefits cannot take part in the election campaigns as per the code of conduct.
But the lawmakers were not such a kind of beneficiaries, he said.
Another ruling party lawmaker Amir Hossain Amu, also the AL coordinator for the Dhaka south city polls, criticised Harun for raising the issue in the Jatiya Sangsad.
He said making an election controversial was in the tradition of the BNP. “Even before the announcement of the Dhaka city polls schedule, they were alleging that the elections would not be free and fair.”
At this stage, Harun along with other BNP lawmakers Zahidur Rahman, Mosharof Hosen, Aminul Islam, and Rumeen Farhana started shouting. They saidthe two AL lawmakers were talking about irrelevant matters.
They demanded the Speaker intervene in the issue.
Later, the BNP lawmakers staged the walkout.