BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said the BNP lawmakers have taken oath of office on instructions from acting BNP chairperson Tarique Rahman.
The secretary general, who opted out as four MPs- elect of the party took oath on Monday, briefed the media about Tarique’s decision later in the day, reports bdnews24.com.
Harun-ur-Rashid from Chanpainawabganj-3 earlier in the day said they were joining parliament on instructions from Tarique.
Hours earlier, Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi reiterated the party’s stance against joining parliament at a media conference at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters.
He protested against media reports about Tarique’s decision on joining parliament, saying that the party is not run on instructions from a single person.
Mirza Fakhrul, however, pointed out that was not the case at another news conference at their jailed chief Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan offices.
The policymaking body National Standing Committee gave Tarique the powers to take decision on the party in a meeting on Sunday, according to Fakhrul.
Tarique took the decision as part of their democratic efforts to make the most of limited opportunities, he said.
“You’ll know about it in time,” the secretary general replied when journalists asked what Tarique has decided about Fakhrul’s oath as the deadline for taking oath ended on Monday.
The other BNP leaders who took oath on Monday are Ukil Abdus Sattar from Brahmanbarhia-2 seat, Aminul Islam from Chanpainawabganj-2 and Mosharraf Hossain from Bogura-4.
The BNP won only six seats in the Dec 30 polls. The Jatiya Oikya Front alliance led by the BNP bagged a total of eight seats, with Gono Forum winning two.
The alliance vowed to stay away from parliament, citing irregularities in the elections.
“We (BNP MPs-elect) are under pressure, just as the party is. Everyone is tense,” Harun said on the eve of oath-taking as his party raised the same allegations of pressure from government, already refuted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Zahidur said he would raise the demand for Khaleda’s release in parliament.
The BNP chief has been serving 17 years in two corruption cases since February last year while her son Tarique is a fugitive convict.
He has been sentenced to up to life in jail for money laundering, corruption and the deadly Aug 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally.
Earlier, Gono Forum MPs Sultan Mohammed Mansur Ahmed and Mokobbir Khan took their oaths of office in defiance of the alliance's stance.
Sultan has been expelled and Mokobbir served with a notice for explanation.
Following in their footsteps, Zahidur Rahman, elected from Thakurgaon-3 seat, was sworn in as the first BNP MP in the 11th parliament last Thursday.
The BNP expelled him on Saturday after its policymakers, joined by Tarique via video call from London, sat at Khaleda’s office to discuss the situation.