Monday, June 25, 2018

Muhith says he was never a member of Jatiya Party, but served military regime

  • Parliament Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2018-06-11 21:05:13 BdST

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has threatened ‘proper’ action against the Jatiya Party MPs if they call him a ‘former minister when the party was in power’.

He says he was never a member of the Jatiya Party, but military ruler HM Ershad’s cabinet before the party was formed.

He issued the threat in the closing discussion on the supplementary budget for the outgoing 2017-18 fiscal year in parliament on Moday.

Several Jatiya Party MPs criticised Muhith harshly in the discussion over different issues.

The party’s Salim Uddin MP said Muhith was a minister of the Jatiya Party government.

“I had said it several times before, but the Jatiya Party MPs are denying it,” Muhith said later.

“I was never a member of the Jatiya Party. Not its minister either. I was a minister of General Ershad’s military government. The Jatiya Party was not born then. I hope they will remember this,” Muhith said.

“I will take proper action against them if they don’t keep this in mind,” he warned.

The 85-year old ex-bureaucrat made two budgets under former president Ershad.

He has proposed a record 10th national budget as the Awami League government’s finance minister this year.

He had spoken about the issue also in the discussion on the supplementary budget last year.

“I was never a member of the Jatiya Party, let alone a minister. HM Ershad announced in 1982 that he formed a non-partisan interim government. He formed the Jatiya Party two more years later,” he had said.

“And when he asked for my opinion on becoming a member of the party, I said I would resign (from Ershad’s cabinet) and I resigned later.”

Kazi Firoz Rashid, a member of the Jatiya Party’s Presidium, raised the issue again during discussion on motions on the supplementary budget.

He said, “We want to keep it on record that he (Muhith) was never a member of our Jatiya Party and made budgets as the finance minister of General Ershad’s military government.”  

“We also want to assure you of never giving any place to a wise person like you in our party. You won’t have to move court for this,” he added.

Salim said Muhith “cannot threaten his colleagues in this manner’.