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JP in chronic crisis

Published : 21 Sep 2022 10:23 PM

Jatiya Party, the main opposition in Parliament, is in a serious crisis due to continuous conflict over party leadership.

The situation is worsening as party's chairman GM Quader, who is also the younger brother of JP’s founder, late President HM Ershad, and party’s chief patron Raushan Ershad, also the wife of late Ershad, remain busy with taking steps against each other.

In this situation, the party further has become divided into two parts. 

In yet another dramatic development, Opposition Chief Whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga has sought to withdraw the letter the JP Parliamentary Party sent to the Speaker for removal of Raushan Ershad as the leader of the opposition.

Ranga, who has recently been relieved of all Jatiya Party posts for "breaching the party discipline," on Tuesday, submitted a letter to National Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury at her Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban office in this regard.

He told journalists that he had informed the Speaker that he would like to withdraw the letter of JP Parliamentary Party because the way it was sent was not right.

Raushan's Political Secretary Golam Moshi was with Ranga when he met the Speaker.

Asked, Ranga said, "The Speaker told me she will decide after considering the legal aspects and going through the party's charter."

In the letter, Ranga said he convened a JP Parliamentary Party meeting on September 1 on instructions of Chairman GM Quader. Removing the opposition leader was not on the agenda of the meeting.

"At the beginning of the meeting, he [Quader] spoke about contemporary political issues and asked all to sign a paper. Once the signs were taken, he said Raushan's condition was not good," reads the letter.

Ranga said, "At the meeting, Quader also asked the Jatiya Party secretary general to write a letter for the removal of Raushan and submit it to the Speaker after taking his signature on it.”

I told Quader that the process was not appropriate as nothing such [removal of the opposition leader] was mentioned in the meeting agenda.

Ranga added that as far as he knew, 70 percent of the lawmakers did not agree to bring change in the post of the opposition leader.

The fresh conflict between Quader and JP chief patron Raushan, wife of former president and JP founder HM Ershad, started brewing when she suddenly on August 31 convened the party's 10th council for November 26.

Sources at the JP said that pro-Raushan group has planned to oust Quader from the party helm in the council and take its control.

A day after, JP Parliamentary Party on September 1 at a meeting decided to remove Raushan from the post of the opposition leader.

After the meeting, a letter signed by Ranga, lawmaker from Rangpur-1, was submitted to the Speaker, urging her to make Quader the opposition leader.

At present, Quader, the younger brother of Ershad, is the deputy leader of the opposition.

On September 14, Quader removed JP Presidium Member Ranga, who is known to be loyal to Raushan, from all party posts as he talked against the decision to remove her as the opposition leader.

In the recent time, Quader is sharply criticizing the incumbent government.

Aggrieved by his criticism, the ruling Awami League high-ups are allegedly backing the pro-Raushan group to put pressure on Quader, sources said.

Feud between Raushan and Quader started over taking the party helm when Ershad fell sick in early 2019. The conflict reached its peak after the demise of Ershad in July 2019.

Raushan, who is being treated at a Bangkok hospital, is likely to return home by the end of this month, Golam Moshi, her political secretary, told this newspaper.

In a latest development, being the chief patron of the party, Raushan Ershad in a letter on Wednesday asked GM Quader to cancel all the expulsions of all the leaders of the party.

She also asked GM Quader to include the expelled leader in the party again.