Leaders of two groups of Jatiya Party (JP) reached a consensus over the party leadership at a meeting on Saturday night, saving the party from a possible split.
Four leaders of Raushan Ershad group and four leaders from GM Quader group sat in the meeting at a club in Baridhara area of the capital to resolve their conflict and come to an understanding over the party leadership.As per the decision of the meeting, Raushan Ershad will become the leader of the opposition in parliament while GM Quader will lead the party until next council, said JP presidium member SM Faysal Chishti.
The JP leaders discussed posts of chairman of the party and leader of the opposition in parliament, position of Shad Ershad in the party and the party's next national council session, meeting sources said.
The meeting also decided that Shad Ershad will be the candidate for Rangpur-3 by-election scheduled for October 5, he added.
Jatiya Party was very close to a split on Thursday after several weeks of high drama involving the widow and brother of the party’s founder, late president HM Ershad.
On Thursday, the faction backing Raushan Ershad, the senior co-chairman and Ershad’s widow, as JP’s new chairman asked the sitting chairman and the former president’s younger brother, GM Quader, to take charge as the co-chairman.
On the other hand in a separate press conference, GM Quader remained adamant, saying he was the chairman as per the party’s charter.Jatiya Party’s difference of opinions came to the spotlight once again as Jatiya Party senior co-chairman Raushan Ershad on September 4 wrote to the Speaker not to accept the letter of GM Quader sent to her on September 3 for officially recognising him as the leader of the opposition in parliament.
In the letter sent to Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Raushan said GM Quader sent the letter without any decision at the party forum and meeting of the Jatiya Party Parliamentary Party.
On July 18, party secretary general Moshiur Rahman Ranga formally announced GM Quader as Jatiya Party chairman at a press conference at its Banani office after the death of HM Ershad on July 14.
Four days later, Raushan in a statement on July 23 said GM Quader cannot be declared the chairman of the party without any decision at the party forum.
The faction, led by Raushan Ershad, sent a letter to the Election Commission on Thursday afternoon, mentioning her as the Jatiya Party chairman. In the letter, Raushan has urged the EC not to accept signature of any other leader, party sources said.
Raushan Ershad as chairman of Jatiya Party on Thursday has also convened a meeting of the Jatiya Party’s parliamentary party to nominate a candidate for the by-election to Rangpur-3 constituency and to select leader of the opposition in parliament for September 8.
GM Quader at a press conference on Saturday announced that they will hold the party’s national council session on November 30 to elect the party’s leader.