Pro-BNP journalist leaders on Monday alleged that the Jatiya Press Club (JPC) authority is 'obstructing' BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from joining an iftar party at the club citing security reasons.
Shawkat Mahmud, president of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), made the allegation through a press conference at the press club on Monday, UNB reports.
"The BNP chief has given consent to be present at our iftar party at the Jatiya Press Club on June 21. But, the club management committee has decided not to allow her to participate in the programme on the club premises on security ground," said Shawkat Mahmud.
He further said, "We think the current committee's such a decision will destroy the club's long tradition of democratic practice and its image."
Mahmud said preventing Khaleda from coming to the JPC for the displeasure of the detectives and Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner in no way can be expected.
He hoped that the JPC authorities will review their decision to uphold the club's image.
When contacted, JPC general secretary Farida Yasmin said they evaluate all members of the club equally.
"The members of two factions of journalists' unions are members of the club, and the authorities have no objection to their iftar party."
But, she said, the security issue is a serious matter when a former Prime Minister like Khaleda Zia wants to join a programme at an open space of the club. That's why the club authorities have taken the decision."