The parliament has passed a congratulatory motion thanking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her cabinet for their strong role in establishing "Joy Bangla" as the national slogan.
Sixteen MPs took part in the approximately three-hour discussion on the motion, and except for BNP's Harunur Rashid, all spoke in favour of it.
"We are a Muslim community. Bangladesh is a country of Hindu-Muslim-Buddhist-Christian communities. We are Muslims, we start work saying Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. If I tell everyone they have to start work by saying Bismillah, it will not happen," said Harunur Rashid, objecting to the motion.
"In the 45 years of my political career I have never seen proponents of scientific socialism chant the Joy Bangla slogan. I have never heard those who chanted the slogan 'May hard work win', ever chant 'Joy Bangla' at their rallies. Today the whole country is concerned about this," he added.
Awami League presidium member and Madaripur-2 MP Shahjahan Khan brought the congratulatory motion to parliament on Wednesday.
BNP's Harunur Rashid said, "Now the foreign minister is going to the United States. What will happen in the next parliamentary elections? The BNP must be brought to the polls! Sanctions have been imposed on RAB officers. There is a concern about these issues. Discuss these. Discuss the crises existing in public institutions."
At this point, other MPs in parliament started making noise.
Again, Harunur Rashid began to say, "It is not possible for me to thank such a motion."
"I have personally heard and noticed Bangabandhu's pre-independence and post-independence speeches in the 50-year history of Bangladesh. In his speech, Bangabandhu chanted both 'Joy Bangla' and 'Bangladesh Zindabad' slogans," he said.
"So there is no need to create division in the nation on all these issues. In this precious time, let's discuss the crisis in the nation today including democracy, commodity prices, democratic values and the crisis of freedom of expression," he added.
Taking part in the discussion, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the BNP lawmaker's remarks on the national stature given to the "Joy Bangla" slogan, proved they (BNP) do not believe in the country's independence and the spirit of the Liberation War.
"They have a love for Pakistan (pyare Pakistan) in their minds and they like being slavish for Pakistan," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also Leader of the House, said that after assuming power, military dictator Ziaur Rahman did the same things that the Pakistani occupation forces did during the Liberation War in 1971 when the "Joy Bangla" slogan was chanted.
They conducted all kinds of propaganda about the "Joy Bangla" slogan, she said, adding that the followers of Zia are still doing the same old things.
Today's remarks made by BNP lawmaker Harun have again proved they have "pyare Pakistan" in their minds, she said.
The prime minister thanked the people of the country as "Joy Bangla" has got recognition and dignity as the country's national slogan.
The High Court in a ruling two years ago directed that the slogan "Joy Bangla" be implemented as a national slogan, emphasising its use on national days, during government functions, and at educational institutions.
In light of the court directive, the cabinet meeting on February 20 decided to issue a notification in this regard. On February 2, the government issued the notification.