The Jatiya Party does not want to sit on the opposition bench in parliament.
Its MPs, in a parliamentary party meeting yesterday, unanimously decided to be a part of the Awami League-led new government.
“Since we participated in the election under the banner of the Awami League-led grand alliance, we want to join the government. Who will sit on the opposition bench is not our concern," JP Co-chairman GM Quader told journalists after the meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
They sat for the meeting immediately after taking oath as members of the 11th parliament.
"We doubt if people will accept us as the opposition if we quit the grand alliance now to play the role of the opposition," Quader said, adding, "We don't want to sit on the opposition bench … This is a practical problem for us.”
During the election, the leaders and activists of the JP worked with AL men and they now want to work together with the ruling party for the country's development, he said.
"A delegation of the party [JP] will meet Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina to convey our decision to her. If she has any suggestions for us, we will discuss them in our party forum," Quader said.
At the meeting, he said, his party's lawmakers opined that they want to work with the leader of the grand alliance to take the country forward.
The complication emerged due to the poor performance of the BNP-led alliance in the election, Quader said, adding, "We did not predict such a poor performance by the BNP.”
The way people voted indicated that they did not want to see the opposition in parliament, Quader claimed.
After the meeting, JP Secretary General Mashiur Rahman Ranga told reporters that people were happy with the government and they did not want a major opposition in parliament.
"We want to stay with the new government. However, grand alliance chief Sheikh Hasina will make the final decision in this regard. We will abide by her decision," Ranga said.
In the December 30 polls, the AL-led grand alliance secured 288 seats. JP, a key component of the alliance, bagged 22 seats. The BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront managed to win only seven seats. Independent candidates won three.
Election in Gaibandha-3 was rescheduled for January 27 following the death of a candidate and re-polling will take place in three centres in Brahmanbaria-2 on January 9.
The Jatiya Oikyafront has announced that its MPs-elect will not take oath as the alliance rejected the polls results alleging that the election was rigged by the ruling party.
Against this backdrop, it was assumed that the JP may sit on the opposition bench, like in the current parliament.
The JP became the main opposition in the current parliament formed after the 2014 election, which the BNP-led alliance had boycotted. The JP won 34 seats and its senior leader Raushan Ershad was recognised as the leader of the opposition with the status of a minister. Three JP MPs were also made ministers.
Their dual role has been criticised. The party could not play its due role as the main opposition in parliament in the last five years.
Meanwhile, JP Chairman HM Ershad could not take his oath as MP yesterday due to his illness, said GM Quader, Ershad's younger brother.
He was then scheduled to take the oath separately at 3:00pm yesterday. But later, he informed Quader that he was feeling ill and would not be able to do so.