JP delegation in India as party remains divided ahead of polls
Amid division within the party, a high-level delegation of the Jatiya Party led by its Chairman GM Quader reached New Delhi this afternoon on a three-day visit.
GM Quader's wife Sherifa Quader, also a lawmaker from reserved seats for women, and JP chairman's international affairs adviser Mashroor Mawla is part of the three-member team that went to Delhi by a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Md Abu Toiub, personal secretary of the JP chief told The Daily Star.
JP insiders said GM Quader is visiting India on the invitation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
During the visit, GM Quader is scheduled to hold meetings at various levels of the government of India and the country's ruling party, BJP.
The JP delegation is scheduled to return to Dhaka on August 22, Abu Toiub said.
JP participated in the 2018 general election under the AL-led grand alliance. After a flip-flop decision and drama, the party, following an understanding with AL, decided to sit in the opposition bench.
Both BNP and AL want JP in their fold ahead of the next election.
It is still not clear what will be the position of JP in the next election.
Although the leaders say that there are preparations to field candidates in 300 seats, party sources claim that this is not the final decision of the party. The decision might come after considering the stance of major global and regional powers including USA and India, they added.
In recent months, GM Quader has been critical of the government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on various issues -- lack of good governance, deterioration of law-and-order and widespread corruption.
On different occasions, the JP boss has also said that the upcoming national election will not be free and fair under Sheikh Hasina's government in power.
Against this backdrop, speculations are high in the political arena about the JP delegate's visit to Delhi.
On the other hand, Jatiya Party's chief patron and leader of the opposition in parliament Raushan Ershad met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday at PM's official residence Gono Bhaban.
In the meeting, PM extended thanks to Raushan for her constructive and positive role in and outside parliament in the last five years.
In response, Raushan said the Jatiya Party will extend all support and cooperation to the PM, meeting sources said.
Party insiders said the long-standing conflict between Raushan and GM Quader has increased over what role the party will play in the upcoming elections.
Sources claim that after the visit to India, JP may clarify its position on elections.