Discussing crucial issues in the Parliament

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

AFTER more than two years’ long recess, Members of Parliament (MPs) gathered in the Jatiya Sangsad on January 25. This is the first session of the 9th Parliament constituted by MPs mostly from the Awami League (AL) and its allies, and the major opposition — BNP — has only about 1/10th of the total number of seats. So the 9th JS is heavily manned by the government party, therefore the government needs to be more accommodating in its dealings with the opposition.

Although all parties attended the very first session, which was acclaimed by many, the AL lost a point in not offering the post of deputy speaker to BNP and in creating an unnecessary (let’s say “number-2”) post of a second deputy speaker. Now it is clear that the BNP is not ready to be “number-2!” If the government party really feels the need of a second deputy speaker, it could vie for that, and having the constitutional provision, could have one from its own party.

There’s much ado about thanking the president. I realise that Article 73 of the Constitution and Clause 34 of the Rules of Procedure provide for a “Motion of Thanks” to the president for his address to the JS. But this provision has lost meaning, instead it takes too much time in the very expensive schedule of the JS session. How? The cabinet and the secretaries prepare the address, and the president just reads that in front of the MPs in the august house. However, as the president himself has read out the speech, he deserves thanks from the MPs.

Therefore, I think that the BNP MPs’ walking out of the House during the president’s address was indecent. They should have listened to the address, because Iajuddin was their choice — if he has done anything wrong, it was instigated by the BNP and its allies, and also because all MPs and parties, and even the general mass, must show due respect to the post of the president — irrespective of party affiliation and personality. I add here that the JS can amend the Rules of Procedure so that the president can be thanked on completion of the speech, and no “Motion of Thanks” and discussion thereon should hamper the very needed JS proceedings.

There are too many topics that need to be discussed in the JS. MPs are people’s representatives and the expensive JS sessions are financed by the people’s money. The people need to have job, food, energy, housing, clothing, vehicles, better education for continuous growth and development, and the right of living in peace. There are many more issues that need to be discussed meaningfully in the JS.

The very essential issues to be discussed are: how to produce enough food, how to keep the prices of essentials within the people’s reach, how to harness enough energy to run machines of all kinds, what type of education is needed, where and how to build houses for every citizen who should be sent abroad for work and what should be the process, how many public vehicles we need and how to ply them (also how many private cars should ply on national thoroughfares), how to ensure law and order and peace for the people, how to guard against neighbours’ intrusion into our sovereign land and water, and so on. And finally for discussing these crucial matters in the JS, if the MPs should have right to express their mind freely surpassing the unnecessary bar of Article 70.

M.A.S. Molla is a freelance contributor to the Daily Star. Email: momas71@yahoo.com

The daily star 07.02.2009



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