Government Policy

Info on engaging lobbyists by BNP shared with EC, BB

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent preliminary information to the Election Commission regarding the hiring of lobbyists by BNP in the United States and subsequent expenditure of US$ 3.75 million for the purpose.

The relevant documents have also been shared with the Bangladesh Bank for further scrutiny,

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam told UNB on Wednesday.

He wrote to the Election Commission as there is a provision in the political parties registration rules for submitting a statement on income and expenditure of each political party.

Since the agreements were signed using BNP’s central office address, the State Minister requested the EC to confirm from which account the money was sent and whether it had been recorded or the audited report had been submitted for that period.

On Tuesday, the State Minister said Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) spent at least US$ 3.75 million on lobbyists and shared relevant documents with the media which are also available in public domain.

He said they have so far eight agreements in hand and at least three agreements show BNP’s central office address.

One of the agreements was signed with Blue Strategies, LLC in Washington for a period – September 2018 to May 2020, Shahriar said.

The State Minister said BNP and Jamaat are two sides of the same coin and mentioned that they found Jamaat’s names in the contents of four documents.

“I’m sure there are more beyond these agreements,” he said, suggesting journalists to do investigative journalism.

The State Minister said there is nothing wrong in engaging a lobbyist but it is not good to hide the fact and act against the interest of Bangladesh and its people.

Source: United News of Bangladesh