Times24.net, Dhaka: Sultan Mohammad Mansur, who was sworn in as an MP to the 11th Parliament, says he took oath to his office in “full knowledge” of the top brass of Jatiya Oikya Front and Gano Forum. Speaking to the media after the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday (Mar 7), he said, “I took the decision as a representative of the Oikya Front and I can say that the top leaders were fully aware of it.” Mansur, who won the Moulvibazar-2 seat on the Gano Forum’s ticket, however, declined to comment on the party’s decision to take actions against him.
“I won’t answer all the queries now because I was there when Oikya Front took these decisions,” is what he said before adding the Gano Forum will take its own decision and he will carry out his role.
They are entitled to their decisions as a party, he said.
On him contesting the national polls with BNP’s symbol ‘paddy sheaf’, he said that the Oikya Front used the symbol as a coalition, and he contested with it as one of the policymakers of the electoral alliance. It’s true that BNP is the largest party and their activists worked. Activists of other parties worked as well, he said.
No paddy sheaf candidate ever won in this [Moulvibazar-2] constituency. I will represent the Jatiya Oikya Prokriya in the Parliament. Since it’s mandatory to be a member of a registered party to contest the election, I vied as a Gano Forum candidate.
A former vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union or DUCSU and president of Bangladesh Chhatra League, Sultan Mansur had risen as high as to the position of organising secretary in the Awami League.
He went under the fold of Gano Forum chief Kamal after he faced the wrath of the Awami League leadership for seeking reforms during the 2007-08 military-controlled caretaker government.
He later joined a loose political group, the Jatiya Oikya Prokriya led by Kamal Hossain and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury.
The Jatiya Oikya Front won eight seats in the Dec 30 polls. Among them BNP won six and Gano Forum won two. The coalition had boycotted the polls accusing the government of vote rigging.
Mansur called on the remaining seven Oikya Front MP-elects to take oath saying, Take youth and talk about valid demands and issues.
The other Gano Forum MP-elect Mokabbir Khan, who was also poised to take oath, announced on Wednesday (Mar 6) that he has decided to stick to the party’s decision and will not be taking oath.
Mansur, however, didn’t comment on Mokabbir backtracking, other than saying, I wrote to the Speaker on Mar 3. I don’t know when he did.
He said that in his letter to the Speaker, he specifically said taking oath as a member of Oikya Front’s steering committee. I have been repeatedly saying since after the polls that I was ill. I have maintained whatever I said since Dec 30.