An internal conflict between Jatiya Party chief patron Raushon Ershad and its chairman GM Quader has deepened again ahead of the next national election.
The conflict between the two top leaders of the main opposition party in parliament has come to light after they have recently held separate prgorammes on the same occasion.
“We have a plan to hold the party’s national council session in March this year. Our preparations are going on in full swing,” Raushon’s political secretary Golam Mosih, also member secretary of the council preparation committee, told the Daily Sun.
Jatiya Party secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu said, “We know nothing about the council session. So, I don’t want to make any comment now.”
Jatiya Party insiders said a plan has been taken to form a 21-member convening committee with Raushan as chairman and GM Quader as adviser of the party in the council.
Mosih is likely to be the party’s secretary general while JP senior co-chairman Annisul Islam Mahmud will be made special adviser of the party, the sources added.
A meeting of the leaders loyal to Raushon is likely to be held with her next week about the council session, party sources said. GM Quader arranged a discussion at the Banani office in the capital, marking International Mother Language Day, while the Raushon group held a separate prgoramme at the Jatiya Press Club on the same occasion.
Earlier, GM Quader and Raushon together joined the party’s founding anniversary programme at the party’s Kakrail central office in the capital on January 1.
Talking to the Daily Sun, a senior leader of the party wishing not to be named said the conflict has deepened further as GM Quader didn’t withdraw expulsion orders of the party’s leaders loyal to Raushon, including Moshiur Rahman Ranga and Ziaul Haque Mridha.
The leaders loyal to Raushon earlier gave an ultimatum to GM Quader to take back all the expelled leaders and activists to the party by February 21, but GM Quader did not do so.
So, Raushon and her supporters have been angry with GM Quader and are planning to form a new committee in March, the insiders said.
A leader loyal to Raushon said GM Quader held a meeting with her at her Gulshan residence in December last on her return from Bangkok and reached an understanding that the party would be run on her instruction.
“In the meeting, GM Quader agreed to run the party on Raushon madam’s instruction and withdraw expulsion orders of the party leaders, including Ranga and Ziaul. But he didn’t keep the promise,” he added.
GM Quader, also the deputy leader of the opposition in parliament, also urged Raushon, also leader of the opposition, to ask Ranga and Ziaul to withdraw cases filed against him (GM Quader).
Ziaul Haque filed case against GM Quader on October 4. GM Quader couldn’t carry on party activities as its chairman for long.
Finally, the High Court has allowed GM Quader to run the party as chairman.
On her return from Bangkok, Raushon said, “I always want unity of Jatiya Party…there is no question on splitting the party.”
Party insiders said the internal conflict has deepened as GM Quader expelled some pro-Raushon leaders, including Ranga and Ziaul.
GM Quader also took all party decisions bypassing Raushon in the name of the authority given by the party charter, they added.
Raushon announced earlier that the party’s 10th council session would be held in the capital on November 26, but later she postponed the council session.
Jatiya Party’s Parliamentary Party on September 1 handed over a letter to Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, requesting her to recognise GM Quader as the opposition leader.
The party also expelled Ranga from all posts of the party on September 14 after he wrote to the Speaker that the letter was not submitted maintaining the proper procedure.
However, no decision has yet been taken about the request of the party chairman for the replacement of the opposition leader.
In a meeting of its presidium members and MPs with GM Quader in the chair on October 8, Jatiya Party decided to expel Raushon from the party if she moves to hold the council session.