Ruling party lawmaker AKM Rahmatullah raised eyebrows in the House on Tuesday, when he claimed there are some 30 MPs in Parliament who are followers of Ahle Hadith, but that - and this is where it starts to get strange - they choose to not disclose it.
Ahle Hadith is a Sunni reform movement that emerged in North India in the mid-nineteenth century, from the teachings of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid, Syed Nazeer Husain and Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan.
Standing on a point of order in Parliament, Rahmatullah, MP for Dhaka-11, claimed to have two crore votes in his pocket. Burnishing his credentials a year out from elections - understandable. Before you realise that's one-eighth of the population, he changed direction.
“Two crore votes of Ahle Hadith all over Bangladesh.” So that's what he was getting at. He then proclaimed himself to be the 'chief adviser' to the Ahle Hadith, although they themselves are not known to have ever said anything to this effect.
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He also mentioned that the Ahle Hadith wanted to make him their president, and effectivelty that he has them on a string:
“Whichever direction I will go, they will follow."
Referring to a newspaper report, Rahmatullah said he read how BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam said that people know who escaped after '1/11'.
At the time of 1/11, Sheikh Hasina had come to London from America, he started, obviously an anecdote coming.
“I came to London from Italy. She stayed in a flat in Regent Park. She sent me news. She told me - Rahmatullah, Maya (Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Azam (Mirza Azam), Nanak (Jahangir Kabir Nanak) is jot in Dhaka. If you don't go, will Sahara (Sahara Khatun) be able to gather any people? Then I came back,” he said.
Rahmatullah said that since he is an honest person, he somehow managed to collect 2 lakh people (even though he has 2 crore in his pocket) for Sheikh Hasina's return.
“Then I gave you (Sheikh Hasina) the reception.”
Returning to the news report, he said Fakhrul should hardly talk about who ran away after '1/11'. He seemed to be convinced he was one of them.
“He indicates us? I will send the paper to you. You will understand if you read,” he said, seeming to address the PM.
Source: United News of Bangladesh