Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad was again admitted to Dhaka Combined Military Hospital (CMH) yesterday.
This time, however, he was admitted because “he felt lonely” at his President Park residence in Baridhara and “didn't have proper caring”, JP leaders said.
“He is 100 percent well. However, he has been hospitalised this morning because he feels lonely in his house,” Mashiur Rahman Ranga, newly-made party secretary general, said at a briefing at the party chief's Banani office yesterday.
This was the third time Ershad was admitted to CMH in 15 days.
Meanwhile, the main opposition is still facing unrest as Ershad removed JP presidium member Ruhul Amin Hawlader from the party's secretary general post and instead appointed state minister for LGRD Mashiur Rahman Ranga as the party's second-in-command.
Speaking to The Daily Star, a number of JP leaders said Ershad used Hawlader as “a scapegoat to improve his ties with high-ups of the ruling Awami League”.
The JP chief removed Hawlader, who is widely known as an Ershad loyalist, to divert the attention from the controversy in the party over “nomination business”, JP insiders said.
Earlier in April 10, 2014, Ershad ousted Hawlader from the party's secretary general post, which he had been holding since 2002, and appointed Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu as an acknowledgment of his “significant role” in the party.
Around three years later, Ershad re-appointed loyalist Hawlader to the post after removing Bablu on charge of negligence in discharging duties.
A JP presidium member, wishing anonymity, told this correspondent yesterday that Ershad's relationship with the AL high-ups was in jeopardy due to Hawlader's “bargain over seat sharing”.
“By removing Hawlader from his post, Ershad wanted to please the AL high-ups so that he would get maximum benefit from seat sharing,” the JP top leader said.
Another JP presidium member, who is close to Ershad, said, “We are also convinced that the government might also be behind the inclusion of Ranga, who is close to the ruling party, as the JP secretary general post.”
Hawlader was also not in the “good books” of Raushan Ershad, leader of the opposition in parliament.
Another reason for Hawlader's fall was the rejection of his nomination papers on the grounds of loan default.
At a briefing at the JP Chief's Banani office, Ranga yesterday gave another reason for Hawlader's removal from the post.
“Hawlader was relieved from his post as he was mentally and physically ill,” Ranga told reporters.
He also claimed Hawlader submitted his resignation to the party chief due to his illness.
Ranga's claim however could not be verified as Hawlader was unreachable on his phone yesterday.
About Ershad's admission to CMH once again, Ranga yesterday urged not to take the issue “otherwise”.
“There is no close relative at sir's [Ershad's] residence right now. He was feeling lonely at his house. That's why he goes to CMH whenever he feels that he has any problem. There is nothing to take otherwise,” Ranga said.
In reply to a query, Ranga said Ershad's physical condition would improve sometimes, and worsen other times. Besides, the growing demands of his party leaders to secure nominations had also put him in an embarrassing situation.
Considering the overall situation, he went to CMH to avoid the pressure, Ranga added.
He claimed Ershad was 100 percent physically fit and was in good health at present. But at the same time, Ranga said Ershad may go to Singapore after December 10 for a medical check-up.
Ershad's personal secretary Maj (retd) Khaled Akhtar said Ershad went to CMH to “keep in touch with doctors and nurses for proper treatment”.