Jatiya Party drama goes on
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and a number of JP lawmakers today boycotted the party’s parliamentary forum’s emergency meeting, intensifying the intra-party rift.
Leader of the opposition Raushan Ershad, also wife of the JP boss, on Saturday night convened the JP parliamentary party’s meeting for today to discuss various issues including relieving of Moshiur Rahman Ranga, also state minister for LGRD and Opposition Chief Whip Tajul Islam from the party’s presidium posts.
Instead of attending the JPPP’s meeting at the opposition leader’s room at the second floor of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, Ershad and a section of JP lawmakers held a separate meeting at the party chief’s office on the first floor.
As a special envoy to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Ershad has been given the office at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
The interesting matter is that a number of MPs including Mujibul Haque Chunnu, state minister for labour, Yahiya Chowdhury and Selim Uddin attended both the meeting to satisfy both Ershad and Raushan.
As many as 28 lawmakers attended the JPPP meeting starting around 3:45pm with Raushan in the chair.
While over seven MPs including JP Secretary General Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Abu Hossain Babla, MA Hannan, Munim Chowdhury, Md Noman and Salma Islam were present at Ershad-led meeting.
There are 40 MPs in the Jatiya Party. Five JP lawmakers remained absent from both the meetings.
Chunnu who first joined the Ershad-led meeting and later participated in the JPPP meeting, briefed reporters emerging from the one-and-half-an hour meeting of the parliamentary party.
Briefing reporters at the Jatiya Sangsad Media Centre, Chunnu claimed JP is united under the leadership of Ershad and Raushan. “There is no division or conflict in the party,” Chunnu said.
Asked why Ershad, Bablu and a section of JP lawmakers were not present in the JPPP meeting, Chunnu said it was their personal decision.
But when his attention was drawn that Ershad and a number of JP MPs were present at Ershad’s room just below the opposition leader’s office and they held a separate meeting there, Chunnu said he was not aware of any such meeting.
The rift between Ershad and Raushan-led JP lawmakers has reached its peak following Ershad’s unilateral decision to relieve Ranga and Tajul from the party’s presidium posts on Tuesday.
Aggrieved Ershad took the sudden move due to Ranga and Tajul’s recent anti-Ershad statement in media regarding coming out from the cabinet and backing JP MP Kazi Feroz Rashid as the deputy leader of the opposition.
In the JPPP meeting on September 9, Ranga and Tajul lambasted Ershad for his recent statement that three ministers and state ministers of JP should quit the cabinet to play stronger role as the main opposition in parliament.
JP sources said during the discussion with lawmakers loyal to him, Ershad expressed his grievances saying that why he would attend the JPPP meeting when they were not invited.
But during the briefing, Chunnu said all JP lawmakers including the party chief were invited to attend the meeting.