Accusing the parliament secretariat of violating the constitution by distorting the questions of MPs, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday said the current parliament has turned into a "rubber-stamp parliament", reports news agency UNB.
"The current parliament has completely become a rubber-stamp parliament ... Awami League is now controlling parliament in the same manner they did it from 1972 to 1975. (BNP) MPs are not being allowed to exercise their minimum rights there," said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
They (govt) are deceiving people by changing the questions submitted by the MPs. It's unthinkable.
He said, "Not only that, they (govt) are deceiving the people by changing questions submitted by the MPs. It's unthinkable. When the speaker and the parliament secretariat indulge in such a crime and deception, it's tantamount to violation of the Constitution. It's a crime against the state. It also means bluffing the people."
The BNP leader made the remarks while speaking at a press conference in the presence of the party MPs at its chairperson's Gulshan office.
Fakhrul alleged that the government is controlling parliament to prolong its power and give the one-party rule a permanent shape under a different cover.
He said the BNP MPs joined parliament amid various adversities not to give it validity, but to uphold democracy and 'restore' democracy by using the scope for raising voice there.
"But it can't be accepted in any way that they won't be able to exercise their minimum rights."
Referring to Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader's remarks that a strong opposition in parliament is necessary for democracy, Fakhrul said the ruling party leader 'mocked' people with such a comment.
"Take a step for establishing a parliament of people through holding a fair election under a neutral government and election commission."
BNP MP Harunur Rashid said the questions they have been submitting for the question-answer session in parliament are being altered and distorted.
"I drew the attention of the speaker and the leader of parliament in this regard. The minister has taken an oath that he would convey the nation the correct information through parliament. But it's a matter of deep concern that our questions are being changed."
BNP's MP Rumeen Farhana said parliament cannot go beyond the constitution and the rules of procedure.
As per the constitution and the rules of procedure, the speaker and the deputy speaker may accept or may not accept any question submitted by any MP, but they don't have any jurisdiction to change or distort the question
"As per the constitution and the rules of procedure, the speaker and the deputy speaker may accept or may not accept any question submitted by any MP, but they don't have any jurisdiction to change or distort the question. But we're living in a country where there are scams in voting, banks, share market, education, coronavirus equipment and mask procurement. There's no sector, including the health, where there is no deception. This deception has now entered parliament," she said.
Rumeen said the government has no capability and courage to face only seven BNP lawmakers and give replies to their questions as it is 'not' elected with people's votes.
She claimed that she submitted seven questions in the current parliament session, and all of those have been published with distortion.
"The seven questions published in my name were not ones that I had submitted as they changed those through deception. You talk about strong opposition, but don't have the courage to publish our questions as those are."
BNP MPs GM Siraj, Mosharraf Hossain, Aminul Islam and Jahidur Rahman were also present.