PM wants the independent MPs to play the role of the opposition and criticise the government in parliament
The Awami League leadership has declined to take independent MPs in its fold as most of the 16 such lawmakers showed interest in joining the treasury bench in the 10th Jatiya Sangsad.
Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the House and prime minister, wants the independent MPs having Awami League background to play the role of the opposition and criticise the government in parliament, said the whips.
Whip Shahiduzzaman Sarker yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that former Awami League MP Haji Selim and businessman Yussuf Abdullah Harun, among others, had expressed desire to join the ruling party.
Political observers say the major challenge of the 10th parliament, which has 154 MPs elected uncontested, is to make the legislature effective as the Jatiya Party, the second largest party in parliament, has sent its representatives to the cabinet.
The BNP-led 19-party alliance boycotted the January 5 national poll.
“Most of the independent MPs have shown interest in joining the Awami League, but Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has not given consent,” Shahiduzzaman said.
“Sheikh Hasina wants strong criticism of government decisions. She really wants parliament to be effective. So, we want to promote them as the opposition,” he said.
Chief Whip ASM Feroz told the Dhaka Tribune that his party would give “maximum” encouragement to the independent MPs to play the opposition’s role.
“We want a strong opposition. If they and the Jatiya Party play an active role, parliament will be truly effective,” Feroz said.
Leader of the Opposition Rawshan Ersahd on the opening day of the 10th parliament told the House that her party’s dual role as the opposition and part of the government was a “new thought” in parliamentary practice.
She, however, admitted that she did not know if the two-in-one role of her party would work.
Rawshan said the Jatiya Party would extend full support to the treasury bench.
The Election Commission declared 297 MPs winners in the January 5 parliamentary polls, with the Awami League bagging 231 seats, JaPa 34 seats, the Workers Party six and the Jatiya Samajtantril Dal five seats. The Tariqat Federation and the Jatiya Party (Manju) got two seats each and the Bangladesh Nationalist Front got one seat.
Source: Dhaka Tribune