JP will be main opposition in parliament, says Ershad

Published:Friday, 04 Jan 2019 06:01

JP will be main opposition in parliament, says Ershad Jatiya Party chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad on Friday appeared on the scene to announce that his party would be the main opposition party in parliament and he himself would act as the opposition leader.
The announcement came crushing the previous decision of most of the elected lawmakers of the party to be in the government in the 11th parliament.
Ershad’s latest decision is among the many he made and changed the next moment. Confusing decisions came over fielding candidates and supporting the Grand Alliance candidates before the December 30 general election.
As per Jatiya Party’s constitution, the party chairman can use his exclusive power of making any decision without consulting anybody.
In his statement on Friday, JP chairman Ershad said, ‘As chairman of Jatiya Party, for all levels of leaders, activists, supporters and general people to know, I am saying that Jatiya Party will act as the main opposition party in the 11th parliament.’
‘As the ex-officio president of Jatiya Party’s parliamentary party, I will be the leader of the opposition and the party’s co-chairman Golam Mohammad Quader will act as the deputy leader of the opposition,’ the statement reads.
‘No other member of parliament from Jatiya Party will be a minister,’ he said in the statement urging the speaker to take necessary steps in this regard.
Though elected lawmaker, Ershad is yet to take oath as an MP as his party leaders said that he was ‘ill’.
He also did not take part in the JP parliamentary party’s Thursday meeting at Sangsad Bhaban.
After taking oath, 21 members of JP’s parliamentary party met in a meeting chaired by the 10th parliament’s opposition leader and JP co-chairman Raoshan Ershad at the office of the outgoing opposition leader’s office in Sangsad Bhaban.
Reporters waiting outside heard JP lawmakers shouting at each other in the meeting.
After the meeting, the party secretary general, Mashiur Rahman Ranga, told reporters that there could be no logic for JP to be in the opposition after campaigning as part of the ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance.
He could not be reached for comments over telephone Friday evening after Ershad’s Friday statement.
Several participants in the meeting said that 20 lawmakers of the party disagreed with Raoshan’s suggestion to be in the opposition in parliament to strengthen the party.
Several JP MPs told New Age that Raoshan was compelled to toe their decision at the 90-minute meeting.
On December 27, Ershad made a U-turn three hours after asking party candidates to support ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance candidates in the December 30 elections.
At a press conference at his house that afternoon, Ershad had requested all JP leaders and activists to work for the AL nominees withdrawing from polls race, if needed, and also announced his support for AL candidate Akbar Hossain Farooque, also a film actor, for Dhaka 17, for which he was a contestant.
But three hours later, Ershad in a statement, circulated by his deputy press secretary Delowar Hossain Jalali, claimed that he was being misquoted by the media.
He said that besides the alliance-nominated party leaders, other Jatiya Party candidates would also participate in the 11th parliamentary elections with party electoral symbol plough.
JP leaders contested the elections as Grand Alliance candidates in 26 constituencies while 146 others of party were also in the race in 146 constituencies with party electoral symbol plough.
In another dramatic development on December 3, 2018, Ershad removed ABM Ruhul Amin Hawladar from the post of the party’s secretary general and appointed its presidium member Moshiur Rahman Ranga as the new secretary general of the party.
Later, in an organisational order signed by Ershad on December 8, 2018, Ershad said that Hawlader, newly appointed special assistant to the party chairman, would lead the party in his absence.
On December 10, 2018, Ershad, in a series of hide and seek that continued for over two weeks, left Dhaka for Singapore for treatment.
Ershad, on December 6, in front of his office at Banani, said he was not allowed to go abroad though he badly needed to travel to Singapore as part of his routine check-up.
The same day, Ershad’s younger brother, also party co-chairman, GM Quader told New Age that there was no embargo imposed by the government on Ershad travelling abroad. ‘He will go when his health would allow,’ he said.
Ershad, however, left the country a day after JP fielded candidates in 187 constituencies, including 29 allotted to it by coalition partner Awami League.
JP participated in the December 30 national as a partner of the AL-led alliance and bagged 22 seats.
In the 10th parliament, JP was in the opposition but it had several ministers in the government while Ershad was also appointed the special envoy to prime minister Sheikh Hasina.