Ousting party general secretary Dr Reza Kibria, a faction of Gonoforum leaders on Saturday decided to hold the party's national council on December 26 next.
In an apparent move to hasten the split in the Dr Kamal Hossain-led party, the decision was taken at an "extended meeting of Gonoforum's central committee" convened by the faction at the Jatiya Press Club.
Party president Dr Kamal Hossain and general secretary Dr Reza Kibria were not invited to the meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, party executive president Dr Abu Sayeed said their meeting has decided to hold Gonoforum's national council on December 26 to make it a stronger people-oriented party.
He said they formed a 201-member preparatory committee, led by party former general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, to hold the council.
Sayeed said their meeting decided to expel party general secretary Dr Reza Kibria, presidium members AOM Shafique Ullah, Advocate Mohsin Rashid and organising secretary Mostaque Ahmed for violating party discipline, and constitution and indulging in activities that go against the party's interests and organisational unity.
They claimed that 283 leaders, including representatives from 52 districts, were present at the meeting.
Replying to a question on whether Dr Kamal will remain with them or not, Mostafa Mohsin Montu said it will be decided at the party's council meeting.
Asked about the reason behind holding the meeting without the party president, he said they repeatedly tried to convince him to resolve the problems within the party and sit with the party leaders.
"He only bought time but didn't take any step in this regard. That's why we decided to hold the meeting… We hope he is with us and we urge him to abandon the controversial people… We also hope that our party will remain united and good sense will prevail upon him [Kamal] to take steps so that those of us started the journey of Gonoforum 27 years back can work together," Montu added.
Executive president Subrata Chowdhury urged party leaders and activists to get united and strengthen Gonoforum to free the country from "misrule, autocracy, corruption and criminalised politics".
Kibria, however, said this meeting has no relation with Gonoforum since it was not convened by the party president and general secretary as per the party charter.
A close associate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Dr Kamal Hossain founded Gonoforum in 1993 leaving Awami League.
Conflicts within the party leaders began after its fifth council held on April 26 last year as many party leaders, including the then general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, were left out in the committee formed there.
Kibria was made party general secretary, but a group of leaders were not cooperating with him from the very beginning. Initially, Abu Sayeed and Subrata were on the side of Kibria, but later they engaged in conflicts with him over various decisions.
Party insiders said some Gonoforum leaders, including Montu, Subrata and Abu Sayeed, have strong reservations against Kibria, but not against Kamal. But they are unhappy with Kamal as he strongly supports Kibria and endorses his decisions.
Dr Kamal suffers from 'memory problem': Montu
Montu on Saturday said their party president is suffering from a little bit of memory problem as confuses many things these days.
Dr Kamal, however, said it is an "evil tactic" of a group of leaders who are trying to create chaos in the Gonoforum to mislead people.
Speaking to reporters after an extended meeting of a faction of Gonoforum leaders at the Jatiya Press Club, Montu said they frequently talked to Kamal Hossain and met him to hold a meeting of the party's central committee and fixi a date for its national council.
"We also sent him a letter. We met him a few days back and he assured us of holding a meeting. Later, he denied saying anything like that…I think he is suffering from a little memory problem. Besides, he messes up many things due to the influence of an evil quarter," he said.
Montu, however, hoped that their party will remain united. "We hope good sense will prevail upon him [Kamal] to take steps so that those of us started the journey of Gonoforum 27 years back can work together."
Earlier, a faction of Gonoforum leaders, led by Montu, Dr Abu Sayeed and Subrata Chowdhury, had an extended meeting of the party's central committee where they decided to hold a national council on December 26 next. They also decided to expel party general secretary Dr Reza Kibria and three other leaders from the party.
"He [Dr Kamal] gave many dates, but unfortunately forgot those due to the invisible interferences by some individuals. That's why we decided to hold the meeting."
Asked whether Dr Kamal was with them, he said, "We surely think he's with us, and we urge him to abandon controversial people."
Replying to a question whether Kamal will remain their president if he does not accept their meeting's decision, Montu said it will be decided at the party's council.
Contacted, Kamal told UNB that the meeting in the name of Gonoforum is illegal as party president and convener is not aware of it.
"They've no organisational power and constitutional authority to hold a meeting in the name of Gonoforum. Our party has no relation with that meeting," he said.
Kamal said he is unwilling to talk about the decisions of the meeting since those are only opinions of some individuals.
As his attention was drawn to Montu's remark that he now suffers from memory problems, the Gonoforum president said, "It's their strategy to confuse people. I'm not interested in reacting to such a comment. In fact, I've no relation with them now."
Replying to another question, he said those who illegally held a meeting in Gonoforum's name are the troublemakers.