It will be fine if BNP send a name, but no problem if they don't-Chief whip Abdus Shahid

Ref:Deputy leader of the parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury is going to head the all-party committee to review the country’s constitution, as opposition BNP was discussing whether to have representation on the panel.

Chief whip Abdus Shahid told bdnews24.com on Tuesday night that the 19-strong panel would be formed on Wednesday even if the largest party in the opposition did not nominate a member.

“We have prepared the draft list of 18 members without the BNP. Already it has been shown to the leader of the parliament prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The draft list will be tabled in the parliament on Wednesday evening after her final approval,” he added.“If [BNP] doesn’t nominate one, the committee will be formed on Wednesday keeping it vacant.”

“It will be fine if they send a name, but no problem if they don’t.”

The others who will sit on the committee are Suranjit Sengupta, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofael Ahmed, Abdur Razzaque, Syed Ashraful Islam, Dipu Moni, Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Rahamat Ali, Fazle Rabbi Miah, Abdul Matin Khasru and Amina Ahmed of the Awami League, Hasanul Haq Inu of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Rashed Khan Menon of Workers’ Party, Anisul Islam Mahmud of the Jatiya Party and the chief whip.

The prime minister will announce another name from her party on Wednesday. The chief whip said that the BNP had not yet given its nomination for the committee.

The ruling Awami League has taken the initiative to review the constitution as per the guidelines of the High Court, which has declared the constitution’s Fifth Amendment “illegal”.

The Supreme Court is yet to give the final verdict on the Fifth Amendment case.

On Friday, the prime minister announced that the government would form an all-party parliamentary body to prepare the recommendations on restoring the 1972 constitution.

The Fifth Amendment, carried out by the military ruler Lt Gen Ziaur Rahman in 1979 in violation of the constitution, made some basic changes to the country’s highest charter.

The amendment changed the secular character of the constitution adopted in 1972 by the Awami League government led by independence hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The 1972 constitution banned from politics Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed the war of independence and allegedly collaborated with the Pakistan army in killing, rape and looting.

Jamaat is the key ally of the BNP co-founded by Gen Zia who rehabilitated the alleged war criminals in politics after the assassination of Sheikh Mujib on Aug 15, 1975.

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