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BNP stages walkout

Staff Correspondent

The BNP-led opposition lawmakers yesterday walked out of the House in protest against expunging of speeches of its newly elected women lawmakers in the reserved seats in parliament.

The opposition lawmakers, who staged the walkout at 8:05 pm and did not return to the House yesterday, said they will decide later when they will return to parliament.

“We will discuss the issue at the party forum and decide our next course of action,” BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury said after the walkout.

The BNP lawmaker said his party lawmakers did not make any 'indecent' remark, but the speaker expunged all of what they said.

He said the deputy speaker, who was presiding over the sitting, allowed the BNP lawmakers' speeches, but the speaker expunged those. “It's totally beyond of courtesy,” he claimed.

Earlier, taking the floor to speak on call-attention notices, newly elected women lawmakers of BNP blasted AL lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim for his previous remark about late president Ziaur Rahman.

Speaker Abdul Hamid expunged all speeches, which were not relevant to the content of the call-attention notices of the BNP lawmakers.

“It's unfortunate that on the first day the women lawmakers made indecent remarks,” the speaker, who entered the House after disposal of call-attention notices, said.

The women lawmakers of BNP, who spoke on call attention notices, made statements beyond the contents of their notices and made 'indecent' remarks about AL lawmaker Selim and the ruling party, he said.

When the women lawmakers were speaking, treasury bench lawmakers, particularly women lawmakers who joined the House yesterday, were protesting at remarks from BNP MPs.

A number of treasury bench lawmakers were repeatedly trying to draw attention of Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali, who was presiding over the sitting at that time, as they were speaking beyond the content of the notices.

Later, the AL lawmaker took the floor to give personal clarification and started criticising Zia's role in the liberation war. He accused Zia of involving in the mass killing at Chitagong on March 25, 1971.

“The activities of Ziaur Rahman after the liberation war seemed to be that of an agent of Pakistan,” Selim said.

As the AL lawmaker started criticising Zia's role, the BNP-led opposition lawmakers staged the walkout. He also made 'indecent' remarks about BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Later AL lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta said the opposition won't stage the walkout had the deputy speaker not allowed the women lawmakers to speak beyond the content of their notices.

Forty-five lawmakers elected to reserved seats for women in parliament joined the current session yesterday afternoon after they took oath earlier in the day.

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