Joining the parliament, Harunur Rashid in his maiden speech today demanded release of his party chairperson Khaleda Zia from the jail on bail.
He came up with the demand hours after he along with his party three other MP-elect took oath this evening.
“We request you (Sheikh Hasina) to release our leader (Khaleda Zia) from the jail. If you release our leader, we, only five BNP MPs who joined the parliament, can at least tell the people and the country that the prime minister releases our leader as a result of our joining the parliament,” said the BNP MP pointing at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who was present in the House at that time.
He requested the prime minister not to oppose Khaleda’s bail petition in the court. “Try her (Khaleda) as there are judge court and High Court. But don’t deprive her from the right of getting bail,” he said adding that Khaleda is an aged person who can’t move without wheel chair.
Rashid said Khaleda Zia is convicted with a “dictated verdict” of the lower court. The BNP chairperson has been making efforts to get bail from the higher court for the last 15 months, he said adding that she should get bail at least.
The BNP MP also demanded the restoration of democracy as the electoral system was collapsed.
Urging the prime minister to take prompt measures to solve the present crisis of the country, he said, “Though we’re very small in number in the parliament, the reality is that seventeen crore people of the country are confined and helpless today. The democratic rights of the people have been snatched.”
Rashid said they joined the parliament to speak truth and sought enough time from the speaker to this end.
Though many development works continue, massive looting is being taken place in the country, he said. Noting that there is no rule of law and good government in the country, the BNP MP urged the prime minister to take measures to address these.
‘Took oath in line with Tarique’s decision’
Earlier, Harun, one of the four BNP MPs-elect who took oath as members of the 11th parliament, said they took the oath in line with the decision of party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
“We took the oath in line with the directive of our party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman. I was given the job as spokesperson of BNP in the parliament, and I will try my best to discharge the duty in the house appropriately,” he said.
Harun, BNP lawmaker-elect from Chapainwabganj-3, was talking to reporters after he along with three other BNP MPs-elect took the oath at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban around 5:45pm.
The three others are Aminul Islam from Chapainwabganj-2, Ukil Abdus Sattar from Brahmanbaria-2 and Mosharraf Hossain from Bogura-4 parliamentary constituencies.
BNP’s six leaders including its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir were elected in the December national election but all except Fakhrul took the oath as members of the 11th parliament.
Responding to a query about Fakhrul’s oath, Harun said, “It is his (Fakhrul) personal matter. But our party has given us consent to take the oath,” he added.
When asked about the oath of Zahidur Rahman Zahid from Thakurgaon-3 constituency, who has been expelled from BNP for taking the oath violating the party’s decision, Harun said that he (Zahid) made an apology before the party yesterday for taking the oath going against its decision and the party will decide his fate in its next meeting.
Harun also said by taking part in the parliament, they will raise their voices for mounting pressure to the government to hold national election immediately under the management of a non-party caretaker government.
“Alongside this, we will also address the country’s prevailing situation and people’s suffering in the parliament,” Harun said.
After taking the oath, Ukil Abdus Sattar, told the newsmen at the parliament complex that they took the oath with the consent of their party.
Later, the BNP lawmakers went to the grave of the party's founder Ziaur Rahman's grave in Sher-e-Bangala Nagar area and offered prayer there.