Opposition lawmakers on Tuesday came down heavily on the Article 70 of the Bangladesh Constitution saying they are unable to speak freely because of this provision.
A total of three Jatiya Party and BNP MPs raised the issue while taking part in the discussion on a bill titled "Chattogram Port Authority bill 2022."
According to Article 70 of the constitution, a person elected as a member of parliament at an election at which he was nominated as a candidate by a political party shall vacate his seat if he – (a) resigns from that party; or (b) votes in parliament against that party; but shall not thereby be disqualified for subsequent election as a member of marliament.
Speaking on this issue, Jatiya Party MP Mujibul Haque Chunnu raised a question whether the parliament has that much power.
"All power is in the hands of the leader of the majority party in parliament. Does anyone have the power to say anything outside the decision of the party because of Article 70 of the constitution? Will anyone be able to remain as an MP speaking against his/her party," he said.
Chunnu, also secretary general of Jatiya Party said, said that as long as there is Article 70 of the constitution, the members of parliament do not have freedom.
He also said there is no participation of MPs in the budget discussion. There is no opportunity to speak freely.
BNP MP Rumeen Farhana said there were questions about the power of MPs due to this article.
Jatiya Party MP Shameem Haider Patwari said that he came to know from Dr Kamal Hossain, one of the framer of the country's constitution that Article 70 was incorporated in the constitution in light of the experience of the Pakistan.
Shameem said MPs were sold out following the creation of Pakistan. From this experience, Article 70 was included in Bangladesh's constitution.
"But now the reality is that nothing can be said against the party let alone vote against the party. As a result, the hopes and aspirations of the people are not being reflected in the parliament," he added.