A dozen MPs indulging in corruption
Almost a dozen lawmakers are involved in money laundering, human trafficking, and property grabbing, and other forms of corruption, BNP MP Gulam Mohammad Siraj told parliament yesterday.
Participating in the thanksgiving motion on the president's speech, the opposition MP said the government and Awami League leaders were not being held accountable.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present in parliament at that time.
As ruling party MPs jeered at Siraj, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah urged everyone to calm down, "Let him speak. You will get the chance to reply to his statement. "
Siraj went on: "The Honourable President has remembered eight great leaders including Bangabandhu at the beginning of his speech in parliament [on January 18]. I also pray for the salvation of their departed souls with respect."
Siraj said he would not thank President Abdul Hamid because he did not mention late president Ziaur Rahman who is "the proclaimer of the country's independence".
As the treasury bench MPs booed, Siraj said, "I can't thank the president for not talking about bribery, corruption, terrorism, murder and rape in his speech, and for not giving directions in this regard.
"Money launderers remain invisible. Who are their patrons? They are all government-backed [or are] directly involved with the government. From Basic Bank's Abdul Hai Bachchu to today's Prashant Kumar Haldar, [all] are close to the government."
Mentioning the name of independent MP Mohammad Shahid Islam Paplu, who has been jailed by the Kuwaiti government, Siraj said Paplu not only tarnished the image of parliament but also of the country.
"Thousands of crores of taka are being spent in the name of holding elections. What is the point of spending people's money on such mockeries of election?"
Dictatorship and democracy contradict each other, he said, the government has to choose one of the two paths. "Let's form a Baksal government by shedding the undeclared Baksal approach and false words about democracy. Otherwise, give the country back to the people. Give back people's human rights and freedom."
About President Abdul Hamid, he said, "He is the guardian of the state. The president in his speech mentioned the success of the prime minister. I would also like to thank the prime minister for her measures to eradicate terrorism and militancy. I would like to thank [her] for women's empowerment. But there is no democracy and good governance in the country. People want to hear the truth from the president."
The deputy speaker, pointing at the BNP MP, said, "What you have said about the president is not true. I will check whether those statements can be expunged [from the parliament proceedings]."
He also advised the BNP MP to act democratically himself if he expected others to behave democratically.
Several other MPs on their thanksgiving motion lambasted the BNP, its chairperson Khaleda Zia, and acting chairman Tarique Rahman for having links to militants when they were in power.