B`desh opposition party says it will not return to parliament

Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Thursday said it would not return to parliament as it has waged an all-out campaign against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led government.

Dhaka: Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist
Party on Thursday said it would not return to parliament as it has
waged an all-out campaign against Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina-led government after eviction of party chief Khaleda
Zia from her cantonment residence earlier this month.

"When the opposition leader of the house is evicted
from her (cantonment) residence along with a national flag
carrying vehicle... there is no chance to join the
parliament," BNP standing committee member Salahuddin Quader
Chowdhury told a press conference at his house.
Chowdhury also hinted the opposition lawmakers might
also resign en-mass as they had already tendered their
resignation letters to the party chief and said, "no one-party
government could complete its tenure to date".

"Our prime minister (Sheikh Hasina) has herself set an
example by resigning from the parliament in the past," he
added.

Chowdhury`s comments came as the seventh session of
the house is set to convene from December 5 while with only 34
seats in the 345-seat parliament, BNP and its rightwing ally
Jamaat-e-Islami has been absenting from the house from the
fourth session.

Most of the first three sessions of the house also
rarely witnessed the opposition presence in the plenary while
they boycotted it protesting the seating arrangements
demanding more seats for their leaders.

BNP and its allies continued to abstain from the house
in subsequent sessions accusing the ruling Awami League of
Prime Minister Hasina of taking extra advantages of their
"brute majority".
But the party announced its parliament boycott
decision two days after it called a nationwide stoppage on
November 30, the second in 10 days to protest Zia`s ouster of
the posh house, which she was allotted under a controversial
lease agreement 29 years ago.

BNP last week promised to launch an all out campaign
to oust the government while Zia urged the countrymen to join
the movement to protect the "national interest", saying "we
must launch movement to protect the interest of the people and
the country (as) now there is no other alternative but
movement".

BNP on Sunday enforced a nationwide general strike
protesting the "eviction", which the government claimed to be
led by a legal obligation for compliance with a High Court
order while the opposition said it was a manifestation
disrespect for the apex court where Zia`s appeal petition on
the cantonment house was pending for hearing on November 29.

PTI

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