Two opposite trends among Jaitya Party leaders surfaced following sudden appearance of its chairman HM Ershad in front of his Banani office in Dhaka on Thursday.
One group expressed frustration saying that the party had been deprived for years by the party Awami League while another group said that the party leaders were tortured and repressed while BNP was in power.
They made such opposite observations in a discussion the party held to observe ‘constitution protection day’, observed by other political parties as ‘Democracy Day’ marking the fall of military autocrat HM Ershad on December 6, 1990.
Earlier, Ershad suddenly appeared in front of his office in sleeping suit from Dhaka Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka on the way to his Baridhara house.
From his car, Ershad said that he was ill but was not allowed to go abroad for treatment. ‘My haemoglobin level has dropped and I feel weak.’
Ershad said that he was under tremendous pressure as he had been for years. ‘But, I never compromised under any pressure and will not do so even now,’ he said.
Ershad, also special envoy to prime minister Sheikh Hasina, asked party leaders to remain united and help newly appointed secretary general Mashiur Rahman Ranga.
‘We might face even worse days so be prepared for the elections,’ he said.
Following his departure, some leaders started chanting slogan warning ‘agents of the Awami League’.
In the discussion, young leaders expressed frustrations saying that both Ershad and the party had been deprived, cheated and repressed and got nothing making grand alliance with the ruling party Awami League.
‘Just ahead of every election Ershad needs to stay in CMH. Khaleda is in jail while Ershad is in CMH, what kind of democracy is it,’ asked Jatiya Party organising secretary Fakhrul Ahsan Shahjada, also the Jatiya Juba Sanghati general secretary.
‘The government had never behaved well with us although we helped them to assume power in 1996, 2009 and 2014,’ said party joint secretary general Golam Mohammad Raju.
The party should quit the ‘grand alliance’ unless the Awami League shared 70 seats with the party in the December 30 general election, he said.
Party co-chairman GM Quader said that people no longer called Ershad a dictator after getting bitter experiences during BNP and AL rules since 1991.
Mashiur Rahman Ranga said that Ershad and the party were brutally treated when BNP assumed power in 1991. ‘They kept Ershad in jail,’ he said.
Asked about Ershad’s allegation of not being allowed to go abroad for treatment, Quader said, ‘No restriction was imposed by the government. Actually, his body does not allow him to go everywhere. But, he does not like to follow such restriction. He will go abroad for treatment when the doctors will suggest. Till then he will take treatment at CMH.’
Mashiur Rahman Ranga said, ‘We do not want him to go abroad before finalisation of election candidates on December 10.’
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