The long standing feud between self-proclaimed Jatiya Party (JP) chairman GM Quader and Raushan Ershad created confusions amid the political leaders and general public. Party insiders told Bangladesh Post that after the death of Ershad, who was also the founder of the party, most of the JP leaders and activists created pressures on the both factions to reach to a consensus for the sake of having unity in the party.
As a result, both GM Quader, brother of Ershad, and Raushon Ershad, wife of Ershad, also had agreed to jointly work to avoid any spilt inside JP. Dispute surfaced when JP chairman H M Ershad died on July 14 last. At his death the parliamentary seat from Rangpur fell vacant. Both, Raushan and Quader were engaged in a dispute over party nomination to contest in the seat. Earlier on July 20, Bangladesh Post carried out an exclusive report titled ‘JP leaders divided over vacant Rangpur-3 constituency nomination’.
Most of the leaders are demanding to nominate a popular candidate so that the seat of late Ershad remain with JP. But Raushon Ershad and her followers are demanding to nominate son of Ershad, Shad Ershad. The Shad Ershad nomination issue sparked off further disputes.
Highly placed sources in JP said, among twenty two JP backed parliamentarians, 16 parliamentarians have already signed in a letter demanding Quader to hold the position of leader of opposition in the parliament. The signatories included Kazi Firoz Rashid, Barrister Shamim Haider, Adilur Rahman, Syed Abul Hossain Babla, Panir Uddin Panir, Masuda M Rashid Chowdhury, Asma Akter, Lt General ( rtd) Masud Uddin Chowdhury, Major Shohel Rana and Golam Kibriya Tipu. Another four JP parliamentarians including Pir Misbah and Rostom Ali Farazi, are also going to join with Quader.
An influential joint secretary general of JP Central Committee, among 51 presidium members, at least 41 are supporting Quader. In a latest development, Jatiya Party leader GM Quader has threatened to take appropriate measures after a faction of the party handpicked Raushon Ershad as its chairman. Earlier, loyalists of Raushon declared her party chairman at a media briefing in her residence.
In the presence of Raushon, Anisul Islam Mahmud, a member of Jatiya Party's presidium, said, "Raushon Ershad will perform the duties of party chairman. A council will called within six months to make a permanent appointment to the post through the democratic process."
Alleging that Quader became chairman in violation of the party's constitution, Anisul added, “Raushon Ershad will give GM Quader the honour of being co-chairman.” According to a central joint secretary general of JP, Newly appointed Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader was secretly trying to give nomination to his wife Serifa Quader for fighting in the Rangpur-3 constituency.
Serifa is a vice-chairman of JP Central Committee. But she is more popular as a cultural activist rather than political leader. Some family members and relatives of deceased HM Ershad was lobbying to provide JP ticket for Asif Shahriyar, who is a son of HM Ershad’s another brother Mozzamel Hossain Lalu. Asif is not currently holding any post in the party after he took part in the Rangpur City Corporation polls violating the decision of HM Ershad himself. Using the issue, businessman Asiful Islam Joy, a joint secretary-general of the JP Central Committee, was also involved in hectic lobby to get party nomination.
But there some allegations against him. HM Ershad was elected in the 30 December national polls from Rangpur-3 constituency. Election Commission declared the seat vacant after the Opposition leader died on Jul 14. A gazette was issued by the Parliament Secretariat undersigned by its Secretary AYM Golam Kibria on July 16 in this regard. A former military strongman, Ershad died at Dhaka's Combined Military Hospital on Jul 14 at the age of 89.