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Family fracas spoils JP Raushan Ershad takes the helm of new faction

Published : 09 Mar 2024 10:45 PM

Cracks in the main opposition Jatiya Party continue to grow bigger as the turncoat politicians are dividing the party founded by former military ruler HM Ershad for ‘personal’ interest. 

The latest split in the JP emerged on Saturday as Raushan Ershad, spouse of HM Erahad, took the helm of the new faction through a council session held at the Engineers’ Institution in the capital. 

Since its formation in 1980s, Jatiya Party has so far been divided into five factions amid serious disagreement between the party’s senior leaders. 

The factions are Jatiya Party (Ershad), Jatiya Party (Raushan), Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP-Partha), Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) and Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar).

The last one came amid a rift between the two senior leaders---incumbent chairman GM Quader, younger brother of party founder HM Ershad and chief patron Raushan Ershad—after the party’s debacle in the 12th parliamentary elections. Even Raushan Ershad refrained from collecting her nomination form to contest the January 7 national polls.  

GM Quader is representing the Jatiya Party in parliament. He has also been made opposition leader in the House though his party has only 11 MPs (members of parliament).

At the council session, Raushan Ershad and Kazi Mamunur Rashid have been elected as chairman and secretary general of the faction respectively.

Kazi Firoz Rashid has elected as executive chairman while Syed Abu Hossain as senior co-chairman and Shahidur Rahman, Shafiqul Islam Sentu, Rahgir Almahe Saad Ershad, Golam Sarwar Milon and Sunil Shuvo Roy as co-chairmen.

Amid internal conflict, GM Quader on January 12 relived Firoz Rashid and presidium member Sunil Shubha Roy of their post. Firoz Rashid refrained from contesting the January 7 nationa polls while Babla suffered a defeat after contesting the polls from Dhaka-4 constituency. 

Following the JP’s debacle in the January 7 polls, Raushan Ershad, who was the opposition leader in the 11th parliament, declared herself as chairman of the party and relieved JP chairman GM Quader and secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu of their respective posts.

She also announced holding of the 10th council session on March 9.

Addressing the council session, Raushan said the party would have lost hundreds of leaders and activists if the council session would not be held.

“If the council session is not held, We would have lost hundreds of leaders and activists. The countrymen would turn their faces away from the Jatiya Party,” she said, adding that the reflection was seen in the 12th national polls.Referring to the party’s continuous fight after HM Ershad’s fall in 1990, she said, “We are still surviving after facing numerous obstacles. When we turned around after 1996 general elections, we had to go to the court to get back our poll symbol ‘Plough’. 

“The court allocated the Plough symbol in favour HM Ershad and Raushan Ershad. We still have that Plough symbol and it will remain in our side in the future too,” she said.

Hinting at the councilors and delegators, Raushan said there is no conflict in the JP. 

“We are united and will remain united. Those who left the JP in the past, did not carry the ideals of HM Ershad. Even, they did not carry the photo of Ershad. So, I do not think that the JP has broken at all,” she said.

Raushan, also the former First Lady, said, “There is no alternative to Jatiya Party for maintaining a peaceful political atmosphere.”

JP (Ershad) secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu said that they remain united under the leadership of GM Quader. “We are the main Jatiya Party. We are least bothered about the activities of other factions,” he added.