BNP MPs tender their resignations
Five out of the seven BNP MPs submitted their resignations in person to Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury yesterday as part of their party's anti-government movement.
The MPs who resigned in person are Md Zahidur Rahman of Thakurgaon-3, Md Mosharof Hosen of Bogura-4, Gulam Mohammad Siraj of Bogura-6, Md Aminul Islam of Chapainawabganj-2, and Rumeen Farhana, from women's reserved seats.
Md Harunur Rashid of Chapainawabganj-3, who is now in Australia, and Abdus Sattar Buiyan, the ailing MP of Brahmanbaria-2, could not tender their resignations in person yesterday, and did it through email.
In the afternoon, the Parliament Secretariat issued a gazette notification declaring the seats of six BNP MPs vacant.
The seat of Harunur Rashid, however, was not declared vacant as his resignation letter was not accepted.
The JS secretariat could not be sure whether the signature in Harun's resignation letter was by him.
"He'll have to sign the letter by himself and send it again," Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury told reporters at her parliament office yesterday after receiving the resignation letters.
According to the constitution, their [the other six] seats in parliament are now vacant.
Rumeen, on her way out of the Speaker's office, said they submitted their resignations to press home the demand for the dissolution of parliament.
"This is just the beginning. Now the other MPs from different political parties who support democracy should also come forward and resign.
"We had a cordial discussion with the Speaker after the submission of the resignations. We have cordial relations with her as we had worked together for three and a half years."
Rumeen added, "The Speaker was surprised and asked us why we are resigning from parliament. She, however, knows she cannot request us to stay, so she did not."
She further said the BNP's anti-government movement will gain momentum following the resignations.
Golam Mohammad Siraj said the BNP came to parliament as per the party's strategy.
"And now we have resigned from parliament at the right time and as per the party's decision."
Appreciating Shirin Sharmin's conduct, he said, "The Speaker's politeness, knowledge and decency is praiseworthy. We felt good submitting our resignations to such a person."
In the resignation letters, the BNP MPs said dictatorship is currently taking over Bangladesh.
The party MPs, in each of their letters, separately mentioned the government's "anti-democracy and anti-people activities; suppression of the opposition political figures; mass arrests; enforced disappearances and killings; and muzzling of freedom of speech, and voting and human rights; and ineffectiveness of parliament.
Reading her resignation letter to the reporters, Rumeen said, "I agree with the public demand for the abolition of this parliament by resigning from as a member of this parliament, which has taken a stand against the public interest, and I voluntarily express solidarity with the party's decision.
"With good health, a sound mind, and without the instigation of others, after deep thought and consideration, I resign from parliament today on December 10, 2022."
Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Md Alamgir yesterday said elections to the seats left vacant will be held within 90 days from the issuance of the gazette as per the constitution.
Meanwhile, Obaidul Quader, Awami League general secretary and road, transport and bridges minister, at a Manikganj AL rally yesterday, said the resignation of the five BNP MPs is nothing but "a drop in the ocean".
He said such an action does not matter to parliament.
"The BNP MPs have made a mistake and those who suggested taking this course of action will soon regret it," he added.