Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad has proposed an election-time government comprising the political parties that have representatives in the current parliament.
Ershad, also a special envoy to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, slammed the government for corruption, misrule and absence of good governance and said his party would create history by bagging victory in the next national polls.
“The government has spent huge money to celebrate the country's upgraded status of being a developing nation. But go outside Dhaka -- what is the condition of the people there? There you will understand how much progress we have achieved,” Ershad said in a grand rally at the city's Suhrawardy Udyan yesterday.
The United National Alliance, formed in May 2017 and comprised of 58 political parties, counting mainly on name-only Islamist parties, organised the rally to drum up public support ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election.
JP's yesterday's rally coincided with the former military dictator's takeover 34 years ago.
Before Ershad came to the dais, he held the hand of his wife Raushan Ershad, also the leader of the opposition, as she requested him to come beside her at the end of her speech.
The JP chief at that time sang the first two lines of his party's anthem -- “Notun Bangladesh gorbo mora, notun kore aaj sopoth nilam [We will build a new Bangladesh, we have taken the oath afresh]” -- holding the hand of Raushan, also the senior co-chair of JP.
Leaders and activists also sang the party's anthem amid clapping and celebrated the cordial moment between Ershad and his wife.
Later the chairman of JP, which has one minister and two state ministers in the Sheikh Hasina-led cabinet, said the two big political parties failed to deliver in the last 25 to 30 years when his party was not in power.
Portraying a sorry state of the country in terms of deterioration of law and order and good governance, Ershad said harrowing tales of murders, rapes and child killings are hitting the newspapers.
“There is no peace anywhere in the country except Dhaka. There is no security of public life. Money was looted from the banks and stock market. Corruption is everywhere,” Ershad said, adding, “We will ensure good governance, punishment of the corrupt and peace in every union and village if we come to power.”
Pointing to the gathering, Ershad claimed it proved that his party has gained strength to go to power.
On the polls-time government, he said, “The polls-time cabinet will be formed comprising those political parties having representation in the current parliament only to carry out routine work. The Election Commission will remain neutral and they will conduct the polls.”
Earlier on January 31, the premier in parliament outlined a framework of the next election-time government that would be smaller in size with limited jurisdiction and would carry out only routine work. The PM also rejected the BNP's demand for an election-time supportive government terming it “unconstitutional”.
At the end of his speech yesterday, Ershad raised an 18-point programme including introducing provincial government, amending the electoral system, curbing corruption, banning hartal, ensuing gas supply throughout the country and upgrading the education system.
He said JP would implement the 18-point programme if his party came to power.
In her speech, Raushan said they would not become the ladder for any party to help them go to power.
“Today's huge rally proves that Jatiya Party is a strong party. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has liberated the country and Ershad has given people the taste of freedom. People now want a change. Jatiya Party will have to come to power for that,” she said.
Senior leaders of JP and UNA also spoke at the rally.