Deputy speaker, lawmakers have lunch at Jamaat leader’s house

Deputy speaker Shamsul Haque and other lawmakers plant a sapling at the yard of RRP Feed Mill, a company owned by a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, in Ishwardy, Pabna on 27 July 2023.

The deputy speaker of parliament and Pabna-1 constituency lawmaker Md Shamsul Haque Tuku and 12 other lawmakers had lunch at the house of Jamaat-e-Islami’s leader in Ishwardi, Pabna on Wednesday.

They had lunch at the house of Jamaat’s Ishwardi municipality unit amir Golam Azam. Other than the deputy speaker, local lawmaker Md Nuruzzaman Biswas and 11 lawmakers from reserved seat for women joined the lunch.

Meanwhile, the parliament secretariat said in a press release that deputy speaker of parliament Shamsul Haque visited a power project of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant under construction in Ishwardi on Wednesday morning. He visited unit-1 and 2 of the project area. Besides, he also watched a presentation on the project progress by chief engineer of the project Khoslev. Engineers of the project informed the deputy speaker that the civil work of the project is likely to be completed in 2023 and other work by November 2024.

Lawmakers Md Nuruzzaman Biswas, Shahin Akter, Khaleda Khanum, Sherin Ahmed, Jinnatul Bakia, Basanti Chakma, Shamsun Nahar, Nargis Rahman, Monira Sultana, Nadira Yeasmin Jolly, Ratna Ahmed, Salma Choudhury, Salina Islam and Dorothi Rahman accompanied the deputy speaker Shamsul Haque during the visit.

According to locals and witnesses, the lawmakers led by deputy speaker Shamsul Haque had lunch and rested at the house of Jamaat’s Ishwardi municipality unit amir and RRP Feed Mill owner Golam Azam after visiting the nuclear power plant. They also planted a sapling at the yard of RRP Feed Mill. The lawmakers them left for the Pabna district’s circuit house to join a women rally of Awami League.

Jamaat’s Pabna district unit secretary Iqbal Hossain confirmed the affiliation of Golam Azam to the party. He said, “We participated in social functions where lawmakers and ministers of the state can attend. I don’t think there is nothing wrong in it.”

Asked Ishwardi upazila Abul Kalam Azad said, “Four brothers – Golam Azam, Munsur Alam, Monirul Alam, and Ajmat Alam are the owners of RRP Group. The deputy speaker was invited, I too went there. Since it is not any political event, it is not relevant to comment on it.”

Jamaat leader Golam Azam could not be reached for comment.

The nephew of Golam Azam and RRP Group director, Rafiqul Alam said, “Deputy Speaker Shamsul Haque is my maternal uncle. He along the lawmakers came to our house and business establishment at our invitation. They had lunch, took rest and then left.”

However, talks are going around over the deputy speakers and lawmakers having lunch at a Jamaat leader’s house. Juba League’s Ishwardhi municipality president Md Alauddin said, “Was there no other location for ruling party lawmakers to have a lunch? They had to go to a Jamaat leader’s house! It’s shameful.”

When asked Awami League’s Pabna district unit president Rezaul Karim said, “I am not aware of the matter and I have nothing to say either.”

Pabna-4 (Ishwardi-Atgharia) constituency lawmaker freedom fighter Nuruzzaman Biswas said, “The visit and foods was arranged under the parliament’s management. I went to visit to Roopur project at their invitation. Though I received the invitation of the RRP Group, I didn’t join it. I came to Dhaka on an urgent matter.”

Deputy speaker Shamshul Haque could not be reached for a comment.

He, however, told the local journalists that there were arrangements for a meal by the local lawmaker on the occasion of the arrival of the members of the parliament and the local lawmaker knows the matter well.