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JS goes into session today

Published : 29 Oct 2022 10:03 PM | Updated : 30 Oct 2022 03:40 PM

The parliament is set to go into the 20th session on Sunday, but Jatiya Party (JP) lawmakers remain in discomfort as their disputes over the opposition leader and opposition chief whip remain unsettled.

The House will go into the session on Sunday afternoon after a 59-day recess as the previous 19th session of the 11th parliament was prorogued on September 1.

The JP, which  is the official opposition in the House, requested the Speaker two months go to recognise its chairman GM Quader as the opposition leader, removing the party’s chief patron Raushon Ershad from the post. But the issue still remains unresolved.  

The move created infighting between Quader and Raushon over the control of the party ahead of the next general election. Amid the infighting, JP on September 14 last relieved Mashiur Rahman Ranga from all party posts, including that of the presidium member.

Later Ranga, who earlier sent a letter to the Speaker on September 01, requesting for the recognition of GM Quader as the opposition leader, submitted another letter before the Speaker on September 20, seeking withdrawal of the previous letter.

In a fresh move, JP on Friday removed Ranga from the post of opposition chief whip in parliament and the primary membership of the party, which created another dispute and intensified tension.

Party Chairman Quader took the decision by exercising his power bestowed upon him by the clause 22 (2) of the party charter, said a press release.

But Raushon in a media release on Saturday claimed that Ranga was not removed from the post of opposition chief whip and no letter was sent to the Speaker in this regard, saying that it is only the Speaker who has the authority to disclose the removal of anyone from any post in the House.

“Neither the parliamentary group nor the leader or deputy leader of the party can disclose such a decision. Or the decision of the party is not considered final. The party just can appeal only to the Speaker,” said Raushon.

Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader told UNB that all MPs participated in a meeting on September 1 agreed on the decision to change the leader of opposition and then they sent a letter to Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in this regard. But the issue has still remained pending, he said.

“We’re in a little bit of discomfort as the issue of the opposition leader was not settled despite two months have elapsed,” he said.

Quader claimed that the Speaker had earlier told them that the letter was verified and found it valid from all aspects. The Speaker would settle the issue before the parliament goes into next session. But she could not attend office for many days after being affected with Covid-19, he added.

The JP contacted the Speaker on last Thursday and Wednesday and requested her to implement the decision before the next session (20th session). He said that the Speaker told them that it would not be possible to give it (recognition as the opposition leader) on the first day of the session, but she would consider giving it soon, said the JP Chairman.

“It has created a discomfort among us due to various reasons here…We’re now observing what would be their next steps. If it is not finally done, we’ll sit in a meeting to fix our next steps,” he said.

About Ranga, Quader said the JP will also request the Speaker soon to take necessary steps over the removal of Ranga from the post of the opposition chief whip. ““We, most of the MPs, do not have any trust in him,” he added.

Ailing Raushon, who has been undergoing treatment in Thailand for the last one year, is likely to return home next week, said Raushon’s political secretary Golam Moshi. 

“She was supposed to return today (Saturday), but the hospital didn’t release her yet. She may return home next week,” he said.

On 5 November last year, Raushon, 78, was flown to Thailand by an air ambulance as her health condition turned critical. She fell ill seriously due to old age complications. Then she returned home from Bangkok for just a few days in the last one year.

On October 12, President Abdul Hamid convened the 20th session exercising his power bestowed upon him as per the Article 72 (1) of the Constitution.

Like the previous one, which lasted five sittings only, the tenure of the upcoming session would also be short, ruling party whip Atiur Rahman Atik told UNB.

But he said the tenure of the next session, the first one in 2023, would be longer as there will be discussion on the thanksgiving motion over the President’s speech in parliament.

As per the Article 72(1) of the Constitution, the period exceeding sixty days shall not intervene between the two sessions.

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