Though the party is going through a troubling time following the death of its chairman HM Ershad and deep infighting, Jatiya Party is unlikely to face any split since its grassroots are united, say party senior leaders.
Despite having differences of opinion and conflicts, they look very positive and determined about keeping the party united under the joint leadership of GM Quader and Raushon Ershad.
Even though Ershad nominated his brother GM Quader as his party successor before his death, some senior leaders, including Anisul Islam Mahmud, Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, and Fakhrul Imam want Raushon Ershad to be at its helm, according to party insiders.
However, they said majority party presidium members, mid-level and grassroots leaders are in favor of GM Quader and back him to continue as the Jatiya Party chief showing their respect for Ershad’s decision.
In the latest development, GM Quader had a post-lunch parley with Raushon Ershad at her Gulshan residence.
A party press release said Quader have had the blessings of Raushon Ershad as they discussed the party’s future course of action.
A Jatiya Party senior leader, wishing anonymity, told UNB that GM Quader visited Raushon’s house after the two feuding groups of the Jatiya Party reached a near consensus that the party is run under joint leadership.
“We almost reached a consensus that GM Quader will run the party as its chairman while Raushon Ershad will be the leader of the opposition and lead the Jatiya party’s parliamentary party,” he said.
Talking to UNB, party presidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid said it is a fact that it will be very challenging to keep the party united in absence of Ershad. “But, we’ll make our best efforts to strengthen it. I think there’s no possibility for the party to face any split right now as its grassroots are united.”
GM Quader said their party will be run by as per the decision their party chairman had made before his death. “We’ll take the party forward with united efforts to fulfill the dream of its founder.”
He said Ershad was not only a former president and party chairman but was also their guardian. “He had given us affection like a father while my sister-in-law (Raushon) is like my mother. In the absence of my brother, she’s now our guardian and I’ll run the party taking her suggestions into account.”
Quader, however, said some party leaders may not like him and they may try to create some problems, but the party rank and file will thwart any such evil effort.
“Awami League had got divided into three groups after the assassination of Bangabandhu. But its grassroots were united and they strengthened the party. So, I’m not worried about Jatiya Party’s future. The party grassroots are with me and they’ll make the party stronger,” he observed.
Ziauddin Bablu, another party senior leader, said there is no question of creating any division in the party, “We won’t allow anyone to split the party.”
He also said it will be tantamount to showing disrespect for Ershad if party leaders defy his instruction about its leadership.
Jatiya Party Presidium Member SM Faisal Chishti said it will not be easy for some senior leaders to accept GM Quader in Ershad’s place. “But we the mid-level leaders will convince them to accept it as our chairman himself nominated him the chairman in his absence.”
What Rangpur says
Jatiya Party Rangpur City unit general secretary SM Yasir Ahmed said they are in favor of running the party as directed by Ershad before his death.
He said the people of Rangpur will not accept if any quarter tries to divide the party defying Ershad’s instruction. “As our chairman himself nominated GM Quader the party chairman in his absence, we must accept it, no matter whether we like him (Quader) or not.”
Rangpur Jatiya Party office secretary Khorshed Alam said the leaders and activists of Rangpur and Rajshahi units will foil any move to divide Jatiya Party. “We won’t go against the directives of our late chairman. We’ve accepted GM Quader as our chairman.”
He said party grassroots will remain united under the leadership of GM Quader and extend all-out cooperation to their new chairman.
Jatiya Party chairman and ex-president Hussain Muhammad Ershad who died on July 14 last was laid to eternal rest at Polli Nibash in his hometown Rangpur as the Rangpurians forced their leaders to do so.
Ershad was the most admirable political figure in Rangpur for over three decades.