Four months after being dropped from the party, Mashiur Rahman (Ranga) has asked Jatiya Party (JaPa) chairman GM Quader for forgiveness. However, the party's expulsion orders against him are not being withdrawn at the moment. Alongside a decision from the party's top policymaking council, there are certain legal complications as well.
Mashiur Rahman, quite suddenly on Thursday evening, turned up at the office of the deputy leader of parliament, GM Quader, and asked for forgiveness. Several leaders present there said that when Mashiur asked for forgiveness, the matter of withdrawing the expulsion order against him was not brought up.
Prothom Alo talked to several JaPa leaders about how the matter of Mashiur Rahman's asking to be forgiven arose. They said that after a long time, a meeting of JaPa's parliamentary party was held in the parliament office of leader of the opposition Raushon Ershad. After the meeting, a co-chairman of the party took Mashiur Rahman to GM Quader's room. Senior co-chairman Anisul Islam Mahmud, co-chairman Kazi Firoz Rashid, Syed Abu Hossain, Fakrul Imam and member of the reserved parliamentary seats for women Sherifa Quader were present there along with others.
A leader present at the time, told Prothom Alo that Mashiur Rahman entered the room, offered his salam to GM Quader and asked him to forgive and forget all the mistakes he had made. GM Quader was rather taken aback and said, what is there to forgive? He tried to avoid a scene.
A co-chairman of JaPa said that Mashiur Rahman addressed GM Quader and Sherifa Quader as 'mama-mami (uncle and aunt), saying, "Whether I remain in the party or not, let me offer my salam to you." He then offered his salam to GM Quader and Sherifa Quader and left the room with everyone else.
Mashiur Rahman went to court, questioning the legitimacy of the chairman and of his expulsion order. The case is under trial.
When asked about the matter, Mashiur Rahman said he had admitted his mistake and asked GM Quader for forgiveness. He told Prothom Alo, "I said, 'you are a senior. If I hurt you in anyway, forgive me.' That is all. I was personally repentant. I made that clear yesterday."
On 14 September last year, by virtue of JaPa's constitution, GM Quader had removed Mashiur Rahman from all party posts including as presidium member, on charges of violating party discipline. Since then Mashiur Rahman had continually criticised the party chairman. On 8 October he was even stripped of his primary membership of the party. A decision in this regard was taken at the joint meeting of the party's presidium and members of parliament. Mashiur Rahman went to court, questioning the legitimacy of the chairman and of his expulsion order. The case is under trial.
Three days after Mashiur Rahman was expelled, on 17 September another JaPa leader, Ziaul Huq (Mridha) was also relieved from the party. On 4 October he filed a case with the Dhaka first joint district judge court against the order. In the case, he questioned GM Quader's legality as JaPa chairman. On 30 October the court issued a temporary order barring GM Quader from taking any decision or carrying out any responsibility concerning the party. The order is still valid.
Both Ziaul Huq and Mashiur Rahman are known to be on Raushon Ershad side in her rift with GM Quader. Bitterness at the top leadership of JaPa reached a height with Raushon Ershad suddenly calling a central council of the party upon her return from Bangkok, the ensuing chaos, the expulsion of Ziaul Huq and Mashiur Rahman to bring the situation under order and then the cases filed by both of them against GM Quader.
Even though Mashiur Rahman verbally asked the chairman for forgiveness, his expulsion order is not being repealed. Alongside party decision, there are legal complications involved too
In the meantime, on Thursday the JaPa parliamentary party meeting was held, presided over by Raushon Ershad. Present at the meeting were 26 members of parliament including chairman GM Quader, party secretary general Md Mujibul Huq, senior co-chairman Anisul Islam Mahmud, co-chairman Kazi Firoz Rashid and 18 MPs.
JaPa sources said that the two-hour meeting discussed recent conflicts within the party. A call was made for unity and also to prepare for the coming election.
At the end of the meeting, Raushon Ershad said, "I have asked all to remain united. I have asked them to work together in unity. We will contest in the coming election independently and have asked everyone to prepare accordingly. I also directed everyone to remain present in parliament and have a constructive discussion on the president's speech."
According to JaPa sources, even though Mashiur Rahman verbally asked the chairman for forgiveness, his expulsion order is not being repealed. Alongside party decision, there are legal complications involved too. Mashiur Rahman was relieved of his primary membership on 8 October by the decision of the presidium and the MPs at a joint meeting. It will require the presidium's decision to withdraw the order.