Women BD desk: The BNP has no objection with its Assistant International Affairs Secretary and reserved seat for women lawmaker Rumeen Farhana’s request for a government plot that created much controversy.
Although the party leadership has no qualms about her application and said that it’s a privilege she is entitled to by the state there has been mixed reactions from other party leaders.
Rumeen was elected as the BNP lawmaker for the reserved seats for women on Jun 3 and been quite vocal about her views about the government in the Parliament.
From the very first day in office, she has maintained that the incumbent regime is illegal and is in power without public mandate.
On Aug 3, Rumeen applied for a 10-katha plot at Dhaka’s Purbachal with the public housing ministry.
In her application she said that she doesn’t have any land in Dhaka and no other profession other than a law practice and would be “grateful” if she is allocated the plot.
Responding to queries on the matter, public housing Minister SM Rezaul Karim told Bangla Tribune that he has received her application.
“Steps will be taken according to the law,” he said and added that the policies followed while allocating land to lawmakers will apply to her as well.
Her application, however, went viral and drew negative reaction from people who criticised her request.
One Jahirul Islam, in a post on his Facebook page mocked her saying, “BNP’s Rumeen Farhana who termed the government as illegal said she’ll be ‘grateful’ for a government plot.”
Similar posts made the rounds through social media platforms throughout the day.
Several BNP sources said that she sent the application without any consultations with the party and some leaders are of the view that she herself must bear responsibility for the controversy it has sparked.
“Rumeen must be more alert now. The government’s top level is interested in her as her talks in the Parliament influence the people,” said a BNP leader wishing to remain anonymous.
“I applied as a Member of Parliament. Is my letter illegal and if it is under which law?” she told Bangla Tribune.
“This is a state letter. I didn’t ask anything from the government,” she added.
“I have said it before and I’ll say it again. This government is completely illegal,” she said and added that she is entitled to this privilege from the state.
“This is a ploy on the government’s part to turn attention away from the fact that they are still allowing illegal privilege to AMA Muhith.”
She was referring to the fact that National Board of Revenue recently cleared the former finance minister to import cars tax-free.
According to BNP sources, Rumeen remains the only one BNP lawmaker not using her privilege of importing cars tax-free.
The application said that the application which had her contact and other private information is a violation of her rights and she is considering legal action.
Responding to queries on the matter, BNP lawmaker Harunur Rashid said, “She is entitled to a car. It’s not like Sheikh Hasina is giving it to her.
“The same way she is entitled to the plot as a privilege,” he said and added that he is yet to receive his plot despite being a lawmaker for four terms.
Rashid said that the government has to approve it and that previously all Awami League reserved seat leaders except one have taken their plots.
He said arguments and controversies regarding the matter is redundant as her application is legal.
Many BNP leaders, however, believe that although she is entitled to it, her request has made the party questionable in terms of political strategy but the top brass has reportedly asked her to not worry about it.