Monday, 4 July, 2022

Race for power: Jatiya Party may join election alliance

Main opposition Jatiya Party is thinking of joining any alliance which will be formed ahead of the next national election with the aim of coming to power.

After analysing political benefits, Jatiya Party may join such an alliance which has possibility to come to power in the next general polls, party insiders said.

“We haven’t fixed yet which alliance we will join. Now, we are taking our own preparations for the polls. We have to join any alliance during the election,” Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader told the Daily Sun.

He said they would take a position in the next general election, considering expectation of the people, which is the ultimate source of power.

Portraying the country’s alliance-based politics, GM Quader is dreaming of leading the major opposition coalition in future.

 At present, there are two major alliances -- one is being led by the ruling Awami League while another by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

“However, the BNP is now leading the opposition coalition right now. Who knows, Jatiya Party may lead such coalition in future,” he said.

The party sources said it is reorganising its organisation across the country, choosing possible candidates and taking preparations to contest the next parliament election slated for the end of 2023.

“At this moment, we are taking preparations to contest all the 300 seats. We’ll take a decision to join any alliance when the election will come,” Jatiya Party Secretary General Mujibul Haque Chunnu told the Daily Sun.

However, party insiders said there is difference of opinion about joining coalition as a group of the party senior leaders want to join the ruling Awami League-led alliance while another group is strongly against such a decision due to their previous experience.

“We have to join any alliance to contest the polls as without joining any alliance, it is difficult to go to power through polls in this subcontinent,” Jatiya Party Co-chairman Kazi Feroz Rashid told the Daily Sun.

Asked whether there is any possibility of joining the BNP-led political coalition, he didn’t reject the possibility out rightly.

“It is not mandatory anything which alliance we will join with. We will take a decision depending on situation.”

Sources inside Jatiya Party said the party’s policymakers have taken a decision to join any alliance which has possibility to go to power. At the same time, the party will calculate their benefits, including sharing seats, for joining the election combine.

“We don’t want to be used merely as stair of any other political party to go to power. To join any political coalition, at first we want sharing of parliamentary seats and what will be our benefits if the alliance is voted to power,” a central leader of Jatiya Party said wishing not to be named.

Another leader said Jatiya Party is now almost branded as a ‘B Team’ of the Awami League. “We want to eliminate the bad name, earned by extending blind support to Awami League,” he added.

GM Quader, also deputy leader of the opposition in parliament, said they would take the final decision in this regard analysing the ‘very last’ political situation of the country.

“In the current political context of this subcontinent, no political party can do anything without participating in elections under an alliance. We will take the final decision based on the very last political situation,” he told the Daily Sun.

The 11th parliamentary elections were held on December 30 in 2018. Out of 300 parliamentary seats, Awami League bagged 258 seats, HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party secured 22 seats while BNP got just five seats. Some other tiny political parties shared the rest of the seats.

Asked about the poll preparations, GM Quader said they have already started preparations for participating in the next elections.

“We are now reorganising our party and declaring our candidates in some seats. We are seeking candidates for all the 300 constituencies across the country. We are sending letters to some leaders choosing them as possible candidates to contest the next national polls,” he said. GM Quader further said they are also giving a green signal to leaders in few seats where their party candidates either didn’t contest the previous polls or the party has no suitable leadership.

Jatiya Party became the main opposition in parliament after the 2014 general election, which was boycotted by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.

Jatiya Party won 34 seats and its senior leader Raushan Ershad was recognised as the leader of the opposition. Three Jatiya Party MPs were also inducted into that cabinet.

In this situation, the party leaders are also divided into two groups -- one group wants to participate in the polls alone while another group wants to join any alliance.

Ahead of the 11th parliament election, Jatiya Party in May 2017 formed a political combine named ‘United National Alliance’ under its founding chairman HM Ershad.