Moon-Sighting Fiasco: BNP MP wants religious affairs minister to quit | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 12, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, June 12, 2019

Moon-Sighting Fiasco: BNP MP wants religious affairs minister to quit

BNP MP Harunur Rashid yesterday in parliament demanded the resignation of State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah for the confusion over the Eid-ul Fitr date.

Two other MPs from Jatiya Party also came down heavily on the state minister on the issue.

“I expect the religious affairs minister [state minister]to resign over this moon-sighting issue and the national moon-sighting committee to be abolished,” Harun, the Chapainawabganj-3 lawmaker, said while speaking on the point of order.

Lambasting the minister, he also questioned what the job of the national moon-sighting committee was.

“The moon is usually sighted during the evening. The moon is supposed to be sighted at 6:30pm or 7:00pm.”

Harun said Abdullah came up with first announcement of the Eid date at 9:00pm, saying Eid would be celebrated on June 6 as the moon was not sighted anywhere in Bangladesh. 

“After taraweeh prayers, when we fell asleep…, the second announcement came on television at 11:00pm that the moon was sighted in Kurigram. Can the moon be sighted at 11:00pm?” he said.

The BNP MP also demanded incorporation of the authentic meaning of “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” in the constitution.

Harun said there was a campaign promoting the theme “religion for individuals, festival for all” in the country, but Islam did support it.

“Those who carry out such campaigns lack religious knowledge,” he added.

He said as long as Islam remained the state religion, no one should create misleading statements about the fundamental issues of the religion.

Meanwhile, Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman (Sunamganj-4) also criticised Abdullah over the moon-sighting issue. 

He said the state minister made two contradictory announcements on the night before the Eid day.

The JP MP also demanded a statement from the housing and public works minister over the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant pillow and household appliance purchasing corruption controversy.

RUMEEN LAMBASTS GOVT

BNP MP Rumeen Farhana (Reserved Seat-50) criticised the government’s role “in not granting bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia”.

“Khaleda Zia is definitely eligible for getting bail considering her age, health condition, social status, gender and merit of the case. But she was denied bail due to pressure from the government,” she said.

Rumeen, the lone reserved seat BNP lawmaker, said that her party chairperson was in jail over a “false case”, while BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman was being forced to live abroad due to government threats.

“This is a great opportunity to come in the parliament as a politician. I am grateful for it. But honorable Speaker, you know this parliament was constituted through a faulty election which drew criticism at home and abroad. This is an illegal parliament,” she said in her two-minute speech.

At this stage, the ruling party lawmakers started hue and cry protesting her remarks and Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury asked the MPs to keep silent.

Later, Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan demanded expunging Rumeen’s remarks over the legality of parliament and election.

Responding to his demand, the Speaker, who was presiding over the sitting at the time, expunged those words.

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