Awami League wants to return to 1972 constitution

Bangladesh`s ruling Awami League said it wants an `absolute return` to the 1972 constitution that recognised no state religion.

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s ruling Awami League
on Saturday said it wants an "absolute return" to the 1972
constitution that recognised no state religion but certain
"realities" did not allow such a change, two days after an
amendment that retained Islam as the state religion sparked a
political row.

"We will say `no` if anyone asks us if we are
absolutely satisfied with the constitutional amendment...but
some realities made it impossible for Awami League to return
to the 1972 constitution," Syed
Ashraful Islam told reporters.

On Thursday, the country`s parliament had passed the
15th constitution amendment, restoring four fundamental
principles, nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism, of the 1972 constitution. However, it retained Islam as the
state region.

The two issues -- Islam as the state region and
`Bismillah` in the preamble -- do not go with the country`s
first constitution introduced in 1972.

The minister, however, said that Islam was kept as the
state religion "as a means to show respect to the people`s
desire".

The ruling party`s comments came as Bangladesh`s main
grouping of religious minority people rejected the amendment
retaining Islam as the state religion saying it declined the
rights of an estimated two and half crore religious or ethnic
minority people of the nearly 16 crore population.

Several hundred members of the Hindu Boudhha Christian
Oikya Parishad today staged countrywide daylong hunger strike
while it promised to wage a tougher campaign against retention
of Islam as the state religion.

PTI

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