The issue of Khaleda Zia’s bail and the oath-taking of the BNP lawmakers-elect are not linked, Awami League acting general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said yesterday.
Meanwhile, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the party chairperson would simply get bail if the law took its course.
They made the remarks at separate programmes amid media reports that six BNP leaders, who were elected MP in the December 30 parliamentary polls, might take oath on condition that the ailing 74-year-old former prime minister is freed from jail.
The deadline for oath-taking of the MPs-elect will expire on April 29.
Speaking at a press conference at the AL president’s Dhanmondi office, Hanif said it was the moral responsibility for an MP-elect to go to the Jatiya Sangsad.
“People voted for them [MPs-elect] to speak in parliament about the development of their areas. People didn’t vote for anybody to release any person from jail.”
The issue of the BNP chief’s release would be settled through a legal process. Otherwise, she should seek presidential clemency, Hanif told reporters.
‘KHALEDA DESERVES BAIL’
Talking to journalists in Cumilla yesterday afternoon, Fakhrul said, “We want Khaleda Zia to be released on bail rather than on parole. Khaleda Zia deserves bail.”
The BNP secretary general reiterated that his party never talked about parole, rather a section of media ran false reports in this regard.
“Awami League wants to establish one-party rule in the country once again by confining Khaleda Zia to jail deliberately,” he alleged.
Fakhrul, along with some other top party leaders, went to Cumilla to visit party men who were injured in violence over the December 30 national election.
He also gave financial assistance to at least 95 people from Cumilla-10.
Khaleda has been behind bars for over 14 months in corruption cases. She landed in jail on February 8 last year after a court had handed her a five-year jail term in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
(Our Cumilla correspondent contributed to this report.)