Amid their growing conflict over the appointment of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament from the party’s top two leaders, a group of Jatiya Party leaders on Thursday announced HM Ershad’s widow Raushon Ershad its chairperson, putting the party on the verge of a split.
Party’s senior presidium member Anisul Islam Mahmud came up with the announcement at a press conference at Raushon’s Gulshan residence in her presence.
“Raushon Ershad will discharge the responsibilities of Jatiya Party Chairman. A permanent chairman of the party will be appointed in a democratic manner through a council by the next six months,” he said.
Anisul alleged GM Quader was announced Jatiya Party chairman violating the party constitution.
He, however, said Raushon will evaluate Quader as the party co-chairman.
The Jatiya Party senior leader said Moshiur Rahman Ranga will remain the party’s secretary general.
Speaking at the press meet, Raushon said party leaders are worried over what happening within the party. “They also fear whether the party is going to face a split as in the past. But I want to run the party together with all.”
She also urged those left the party at different times to rejoin Jatiya Party which was founded by her late husband Ershad.
On July 18, party secretary general Moshiur Rahman Ranga formally announced HM Ershad’s younger brother GM Quader as Jatiya Party chairman at a press conference.
Before his death, Ranga said, Ershad through an organisational instruction had announced that GM Quader would be the party chairman in his absence. “So, we’ve decided that GM Quader is our party chairman.
Four days later, Raushon in a statement said GM Quader cannot be declared the chairman of the party without any decision at the party forum.
Ershad appointed his brother Quader acting chairman and his heir to the party before his death on July 14.
Jatiya Party’s division came to the spotlight once again as Jatiya Party Senior Co-Chairman Raushon Ershad on Wednesday wrote to the Speaker not to accept the letter of GM Quader sent to her on Tuesday for officially recognising him as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
In the letter sent to Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Raushon said GM Quader sent the letter without any decision at the party forum and meeting of the Jatiya Party Parliamentary Party.
Before sending the letter, some Jatiya Party leaders, including Anisul Islam Mahmud, Mujibul Haque Chunnu and Fakhrul Imam, had a long meeting with Raushon at her Gulshan residence.
Jatiya Party joined the 11th general election as the key partner of the Grand Alliance and bagged 22 seats. After the election, the party decided to play the role of opposition in parliament.
Jatiya Party sources said most party MPs and presidium members are backing GM Quader while some MPs and presidium members loyal to Raushon want her to play the role of party chairperson and the opposition leader.