Sunday, 25 September, 2022

Upcoming National Election

JP to bargain hard over seat sharing

Won’t remain ‘loyal’ to AL

Jatiya Party is going ahead with a plan to go for hard bargaining over seat sharing with the ruling Awami League or opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in the next parliamentary elections.

As per its plan, Jatiya Party, the main opposition in parliament, has already started work to reverse its political stance by carrying out street programmes against the government over public issues, according to party sources.

“Now, we are taking our own preparations for the next parliamentary elections. We will join any alliance ahead of the polls,” Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader said while talking to the Daily Sun.

Referring to the alliance-based politics in the neighboring countries of this subcontinent, GM Quader said that they (Jatiya Party) are dreaming of leading the major opposition coalition in future.

“The BNP is now leading the opposition coalition. Jatiya Party may also lead such alliance in future,” he added.

It is learnt from the party sources that Jatiya Party wants a share of at least 50 parliamentary seats in the next national election, and the party high command is working to this end.

The party for the last few months has become vocal both in the parliament and on the street over public issues. It is also trying to come out of the ruling Awami League as its adherent.

Jatiya Party appears to have shifted its stance as it is currently criticising the incumbent Awami League-led government and strongly opposing its activities over different public issues.

The party held demonstration programmes on August 8 and 9 in protest against the government's 'anti-people' decision to increase fuel prices.

It staged a protest rally in front of its Kakrail central office on August 8. The rally was followed by a procession that ended in front of Jatiya Press Club. The party's all divisional, district and upazila units held demonstrations and protest rallies across the country on August 9.

Senior Jatiya Party leaders, including party chairman GM Quader and secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu, have termed the incumbent government ‘failure and authoritarian’.

“One-man rule has been established in the country in the name of the republic. The country is now in grip of autocratic rule,” the Jatiya Party chief said at a recent programme in the capital.  At another programme, he said fair election is not possible under this ‘authoritarian’ government. “That’s why constitution will have to be amended for a free and fair election,” he added.

According to insiders, Jatiya Party wants to make its position independent in the country’s political arena and that is  why the party is trying to stop being loyal to the Awami League.

Jatiya Party will go for strong bargaining over seat sharing with other party in the next national election as it wants to get maximum parliamentary seats in the polls, according to sources.

GM Quader took leadership of the Jatiya Party following the death of party founder HM Ershad in 2019.

Many Jatiya Party leaders, however, are worried about the party’s move to go for strong bargaining over seat sharing in absence of Ershad.

“If any party accepts Jatiya Party as leading party and GM Quader as leader then we can make alliance with the party. Definitely, we will go for bargaining to ensure maximum number of seats,” party secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu told the Daily Sun.

He, however, said they are now taking preparation to contest all the 300 parliamentary seats. “We lack adequate candidates to contest in all constituencies. But we are collecting candidates for the polls.”

Insiders said Jatiya Party has a plan to form a coalition with an aim to come to power. Besides, the party may join an alliance which has the possibility to come to power in the next polls.

The party 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, the sources added.

“We have to join any alliance to contest the next national polls. It is not mandatory for us to join an alliance. It depends on situation,” Jatiya Party Co-chairman Kazi Feroz Rashid said.

 “We don’t want to be used as stair of any other political party to go to power. To join any political coalition, we want to get maximum seats and will see what will be our benefits if the alliance is voted to power,” a central leader of Jatiya Party said.

The 11th parliamentary elections were held in 2018. Out of 300 parliamentary seats, Awami League bagged 258 seats, Ershad-led Jatiya Party secured 22 seats while BNP got only five seats.

Jatiya Party became the main opposition in parliament after the 2014 national election, which was boycotted by BNP-led 20-party alliance. Jatiya Party won 34 seats and its senior leader Raushan Ershad was made the leader of the opposition. Three Jatiya Party MPs were also inducted into that cabinet.