3 big foreign powers favoured AL: GM Quader

Jatiya Party (JaPa) leader GM QuaderCollected

Jatiya Party (JaPa) contested in the 12th parliamentary elections for the sake of existence of the party, said its chairman GM Quader Saturday.

“I realised the movement of the BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) won’t be successful. Three big foreign powers wanted to make the election a success. A few more countries were extending support to the government (of Awami League),” he said.

GM Quader was speaking about JaPa’s participation in the last parliamentary election while addressing as chair in the first session of the party’s extended meeting at the  Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB).

Before the election, the leaders of the party opined in favour of boycotting the election from an extended meeting held on 12 November. But JaPa finally took part in the election after “negotiation” on 26 parliamentary seats with the governing Awami League.

Addressing the extended meeting, GM Quader further stated that the BNP had fallen into a trap while waging its movement. Their leaders were arrested and sentenced in the name of committing violence, and kept outside of the election. BNP could not be successful even though it worked for the interests of the country; they were beaten in the movement.

But the BNP is now blaming him (GM Quader) for their faults, the JaPa leader added. “BNP is saying, the future of the country would have changed if I had not decided to contest the election. But it would not have mattered whether I had joined the election or not; the country would have run in this way, the situation would have remained the same,” he said.

GM Quader also urged the key opposition, BNP, not to hide their faults by blaming him.

Explaining the situation existed before the elections, GM Quader said, “The government wanted to inject a few rotten and waste elements in us and make JaPa a subservient opposition. But I didn’t agree to that. Though we compromised with the government due to various types of pressure, it did not provide any facilities to us.”

Mentioning that he was completely ready to withdraw from the elections on 17 December, GM Quader said, “Direct and indirect pressure was exerted (on us) to take part in the election. I won’t speak here about direct pressure, you will have to realise that. The indirect pressure is, there will be an election even if I do not contest and the Jatiya Party will be forced to join. Then JaPa would get lost politically by joining the election as a ‘domestic opposition party’. In that context, the decision was taken to contest the election.”

Commenting that the parliamentary elections were not good, JaPa chairman said, “I said in the parliament, the elections were not good. In such a reality, no political party will survive in the field of politics. The government is not giving us space. We are waging a systematic movement and criticising the government. The BNP is not even being allowed to enter the field. Only the Awami League remains in the field.”

AL lost its political character

GM Quader said, “We cannot consider the ruling party as a political party. The Awami League has now lost its political character. A political party will have a pro-people programme and ideology, which is not present in the Awami League. They are now trying to replace the republic with monarchy, authoritarianism or dictatorship.”

The JaPa chairman alleged that the election was conducted in three ways. Explaining the process, he said, firstly, free and fair elections were held in one or two constituencies at the instructions of the government. Secondly, victory was ensured in whatever way it was possible by using the administration and spending money. And thirdly, many candidates have been made victorious as per the demand of the government. As a result many popular candidates of JaPa could not win in the elections.

Jatiya Party secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu, co-chairman ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Salma Islam, presidium members Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, Rezaul Islam Bhuiyan, Mostafa Al Mahmud, Zahirul Islam, and Zahirul Alam, advisor Ashrafuzzaman, among others, addressed the programme where leaders of different levels of the party from different districts attended.