The conflict within the Jatiya Party centring Raushan Ershad has been surfaced after the party’s former secretary general Mashiur Rahman Ranga has been removed from all of its posts including presidium membership.
JaPa chairman GM Quader on Wednesday took the decision in accordance with the party constitution.
Jatiya Party MP for Rangpur-1 constituency and opposition chief whip in parliament, Mashiur Rahman, questioned the process of removing Raushon Ershad from the post of opposition leader in a private television interview Tuesday last.
In sequel to that, he has been removed from JaPa, according to party sources.
Sources said some leaders and MPs of the party are trying to reorganise the party centring Raushon Ershad ahead of the next parliamentary election. There is a discussion among the leaders and activists whether the sudden change of the position of Mashiur Rahman is part of it or not.
Many believe that if the decision of JaPa parliamentarians to remove Raushon Ershad from the post of leader of the opposition in parliament and replace her with deputy leader GM Quader is stuck in the speaker's office, the crisis may increase and many leaders may change their stance like Mashiur.
The crisis emerged after chief patron of JaPa, Raushon Ershad, called for the central council of the party all of a sudden on 30 August. Before the end of the tenure of the current committee, Raushon Ershad sent a press release to the media announcing the council on 26 November excluding GM Quader. The top leaders of the party were shocked by this.
Following this, the parliamentary committee of the party held a meeting in the parliament on 31 August and the unanimous decision to remove Raushon Ershad from the post of opposition leader and replace her with JaPa chairman and deputy leader of the opposition GM Quader was taken. Most of the JaPa MPs, including senior co-chairman Anisul Islam Mahmud, co-chairman Qazi Firoz Rashid and secretary general Mujibul Haque, were present at the meeting.
It has been learned that it was Mashiur Rahman who called the meeting of JaPa’s parliamentary committee on 31 August following an order from GM Quader. He even signed the proceedings of the meeting. Later, a team of JaPa MPs headed by Mashiur submitted the party’s decision in writing to the office of the speaker.
Some 13 days after that, he blamed GM Quader for removing Raushon Ershad from the party while giving an interview to a private TV channel. He said the decision taken by GM Quader was not right.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, Mashiur Rahman told Prothom Alo, “He (GM Quader) exempted me from the party as I spoke the truth. If anyone is invited to an event, he or she should be informed about the purpose. No one knew the agenda of the meeting that Raushon Ershad would be removed from the post of leader of the opposition. That’s not right.”
Sources in JaPa said the party leaders are in confusion after the party decision got stuck in the speaker’s office. They are thinking that a new crisis will emerge among the top leaders of the party if Raushon gets support from the government. Therefore, many are stepping back even after signing the decision of the meeting of the parliamentary committee.
Regarding the exemption of Mashiur Rahman from the party, JaPa secretary general Mujibul Haque told Prothom Alo, “Is there any other way? Sometimes you need to take a strong stance regardless of what your mind says. The decision has been taken for the sake of the discipline of the party.”
Meanwhile, angered by the party decision, Mashiur Rahman has said he would form ‘Trinamul Jatiya Party’ if it is needed. He even threatened GM Quader to ‘face him in Rangpur’.
Willing to be unnamed a presidium member of JaPa told Prothom Alo, “We, the members of Jatiya Party are habituated to these sorts of situations. Therefore, we are not perturbed at all by these decisions and division within the party ahead of the election. This is the beauty of the Jatiya Party.”