JP ministers to resign after April
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said he would resign as the special envoy to the prime minister and his party's three ministers from the cabinet in phases to play the role of a real opposition party.
The move would dispel the party's present negative image in people's minds, he told The Daily Star in an interview by phone.
Ershad said the three ministers may step down after the party central council to be held in April.
Earlier on Tuesday, he told a press conference at his Banani office that he would request the PM to relieve him of the special envoy's post as he wanted to travel different parts of the country to look after his party affairs.
The former army chief-turned politician yesterday said the JP wants to be an alternative to BNP in politics, keeping the next general election in mind.
To achieve the goal, Ershad said he would strengthen the party grassroots, and bring changes in the leadership.
The JP, he said, will hold its central council to reorganise the party and have an able leadership as per opinion of the council members.
“All the leaders, including myself, will resign from party posts ahead of the council meeting, paving the way for picking a new leadership. The councillors will choose the leaders. I will be in the party only if they [councillors] pick me,” he added.
He pledged to do everything needed for restoring people's confidence in the JP and the party's image which was tarnished by its previous mistakes.
“Before the next parliamentary election, we want to complete all the tasks that include uniting all nationalist forces,” he added.
The former president observed that people withdrew their support for the BNP due to its recent “anti-people and violent activities”. “We want to be an alternative to the BNP by addressing our shortcomings. The BNP has no future in politics due to its wrong and anti-people policy.”
About the recent change in the JP's secretary general post, Ershad said the decision sent a positive message to the country's people as well as to party men who have been inactive for a long time.
At one stage, he handed the phone to Ruhul Amin Hawlader, who replaced Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu as JP secretary general on Tuesday.
Hawlader said they will have an extended meeting by this month after a long time. The presidents and general secretaries of the party's district units and the chiefs of its front organisations will be present, he added.
“The meeting will decide on the roadmap for the council and discuss strengthening the party to bounce back from its present poor organisational state,” said JP lawmaker Hawlader.
QUADER ON NATIONAL POLLS
Newly appointed JP co-chairman GM Quader told different media that he believes Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina might go for an acceptable mid-term election as the PM “doesn't consider the present political situation to be comfortable”.
Quader, younger brother of the JP chief, said he personally backs an inclusive mid-term election.
Ershad on Saturday appointed him as the JP's co-chair, a post which does not exist in the party's charter.
He said JP presidium member Raushan Ershad, also the leader of the opposition in parliament, wants the three JP ministers resign from cabinet and the JP plays the role of a real opposition party.
The JP has three of its leaders in the cabinet. They are Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, State Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Mashiur Rahman Ranga and State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu.