India wants JP joins polls: Ershad | The Daily Star
07:23 PM, December 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:43 PM, December 04, 2013

India wants JP joins polls: Ershad

India wants JP joins polls: Ershad Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh meets Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad at the former dictator's residence at Baridhara in the capital today. After the meeting Ershad said that India had advised him to participate in the next parliamentary election warning that militants might rise if JP keeps off from the polls. Photo: Focus Bangla

Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad said today that neighbouring India had advised him to participate in the next parliamentary election warning that militants might rise if JP keeps off from the polls.

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"They said if we don't participate in the election, the fundamentalist group Jamaat-Shibir will rise and come to power. They asked whether I want this," Ershad said after a meeting with an Indian delegation led by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.

The meeting took place hot on the heels of a political volatility that further saw what many analysts termed "somersault" by the former military dictator yesterday.

After repeated threats to quit the Awami League-led Grand Alliance, Ershad's Jatiya Party remained with the alliance almost until a polls-time cabinet was formed last month.

Though he pulled out of the Grand Alliance, 261 JP candidates submitted nomination papers to participate in the election Monday. The next day, Ershad announced that his party would not participate in the parliamentary election.

This morning, the former dictator directed all JP aspirant lawmakers to withdraw nomination papers.

During an emergency meeting of the presidium in the afternoon, he instructed four ministers, two state ministers and an adviser to the prime minister to resign from their positions immediately.

Indian foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, who flew in today, met Ershad later at his house in Baridhara.

"When they told me that fundamentalists might rise and come to power, I told them that it's not my concern who would take part if we don't participate in the election," Ershad told reporters after the meeting.

Ershad said the government would be responsible for any such situation since it has created a ground for such outcome.

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