BNP Secretary General and Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan made Wednesday a three-point proposal envisaging a four-year tenure of Parliament and banning hartal and siege, reports UNB.
He also suggested amendment to the University Ordinance of 1973 allowing appointment of the vice-chancellor and teachers on purely merit basis.
Bhuiyan did not straightaway propose a ban on student politics, but said the political parties could ponder over it for the future of the students in this era of competition.
"These are my personal thinking, not from my party. But I will try to persuade my party to accept it, if you agree," he said, adding: "Let us reach an agreement on these critical issues during the next caretaker government."
Bhuiyan made the propositions while participating in general discussion on national budget for fiscal 2006-'07, which will be adopted by Parliament today (Thursday).
He said if the tenure of parliament could be shortened from five years to four years, the waiting time for the opposition would be lessened and this might lead to less political violence and intolerance.
About hartal and siege, the LGRD minister said if necessary, such programmes could be banned through legislation.
On another critical issue of corruption, he called for launching "social movement" to eliminate corruption from top to bottom of the society.
In an oblique response to Deputy Leader of the Opposition Abdul Hamid's earlier proposal to disclose the property and wealth of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and all 300 MPs, Bhuiyan said: "We politicians are used to assassinate our character, but the number of corrupt people outside politics is greater. Let's have a social movement against all corrupt people."
Bhuiyan said if statements on property and bank balance of politicians are to be disclosed it must start from 1971 so that the people who had amassed wealth through corrupt means in the past are not spared.
On the opposition's campaign against Bangladesh, Bhuiyan alleged that the opposition appointed contractors and lobbyists to tarnish the country's image abroad. He wondered how a politician who was once the Prime Minister could spread slander against the country.
Referring to Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina's recent visit to India and meeting with both government and opposition leaders there, he questioned whether BJP leaders Vajpayee or Advani spoke to her against the Congress government?
Criticising the opposition's anti-government agitation for last four and a half years, he said that "having failed" in their bid to oust the alliance government, they were now fanning others' movements to put the BNP in a difficult situation with a notion that the BNP might fall with another stroke.
He blamed the opposition's "instigation" behind the agitation in garment industry and at Kansat and Shanir Akhra.
Bhuiyan termed the opposition's hartal and siege as movement against the people, not against the government. In support of his contention, he said the opposition's movement could not pull down the government, but increased the public misery due to denial of their daily earnings and breaking their cars and shops.
About the proposed government-opposition dialogue on the opposition's reform proposals, he blamed the Awami League (AL) for creating impasse by raising the issue of Jamaat.
Making a fresh invitation to the dialogue, Bhuiyan said that out of five-member government panel of negotiators, one Jamaat member will be dropped and he would be on the panel for discussion.