The main opposition in parliament, Jatiya Party, is now in a dilemma over appointing its new secretary general following the death of incumbent secretary general Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu.
Party insiders said a number of senior leaders are interested to become the party’s secretary general while its Chairman GM Quader has also a choice for the party’s second leadership.
Bablu, also a former MP, passed away at a city hospital on October 2.
Party sources said its internal conflict has become evident as division and tensions among the party’s top leaders over the post of secretary general are now prevailing.
A number of senior leaders are interested to hold he post of the party’s secretary general while many others are approaching the party chairman to bring party’s Co-chairman ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader, also former secretary general, back to the post.
Another former Secretary General Moshiur Rahman Ranga also wants to hold the post.
On the other hand, Co-chairmen Syed Abu Hossain Babla, MP, and Mujibul Haque Chunnu, MP, Presidium member Shameem Haider Patwary and Additional Secretary General Shahidur Rahman are also interested to get the post of the secretary general, the sources added.
Babla said, “I’ve sacrificed my whole life for Jatiya Party politics but I haven’t got anything in return. If any new face comes to the post of party’s secretary general, I won’t accept it.”
Jatiya Party sources said party’s high command wants to appoint a relatively young leader, who has a good image inside and outside parliament, as the party’s secretary general for the sake of its future.
GM Quader is considering party’s Presidium member Shameem Haider Patwary, also MP from Gaibandha-1 constituency, for the post of secretary general.
After such information spread around, some senior leaders held a meeting with party’s Co-chairman Kazi Firoz Rashid on Monday and raised voice against such move, meeting sources said.
"Party Chairman GM Quader should discuss the matter with the party’s senior leaders before finalising any decision in this regard,” Firoz Rashid said.
Another Presidium member SM Faisal Chisti said an experienced and popular politician who has also organisational capacity should be made party’s secretary general.
Asked whether Shameem will be party’s secretary general, GM Quader said, “It has not been finalised yet.”
Ranga claimed that if Shameem is made secretary general, the party may see a split and many leaders may leave the party.
Party sources said Shameem has drawn attention for his active participation and knowledgeable speeches inside and outside parliament on various issues.
"Young voters may be attracted to Jatiya Party if he is made secretary general. The party's image will also improve as he is a clean-image politician," said a JP presidium member.
According to Article 20/1 (1)/Ka of the Jatiya Party's charter, the party chairman has the power to appoint anyone to the post of secretary general.
In July 2020, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader made its Co-chairman Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu as its secretary general removing Moshiur Rahman Ranga from the post.
GM Quader and Ranga were elected as chairman and secretary general of Jatiya Party respectively for the next three years in its council in December 2019.
On December 3, 2018, Jatiya Party Chairman and founder HM Ershad had appointed Ranga secretary general removing Ruhul Amin Howlader.
Howlader was first made Jatiya Party secretary general in 2001 when the party faced a split and remained in the post for 12 consecutive years.
On January 19, 2016, Ershad removed Bablu from the post of secretary general and replaced him with Howlader.
In April 2014, Bablu was appointed Jatiya Party secretary general removing Ruhul Amin Howlader.