JaPa looks to government for Rangpur-3 by-polls
The main opposition in parliament, Jatiya Party (JaPa), is looking towards the government to decide upon its candidate for the by-election in the Rangpur Sadar seat. JaPa leaders are trying to ascertain the government’s position concerning this by-election to the seat which has fallen vacant following the death of HM Ershad.
Several leaders of JaPa have said that there is a rift between Raushan Ershad and GM Quader over the candidature for the by-election and both camps are trying to meet with top level leaders of the government to sort out the issue. They want to have a clear idea of the head of government’s views concerning the party’s internal affairs as well as nomination for the by-polls. Till date, however, they have not managed to meet with the top leader.
Fresh complications have arisen with GM Quader’s sudden letter, asking to be appointed as leader of the opposition in parliament. Fifteen among the party’s 25 members of parliament signed the letter which was submitted to the speaker on Tuesday, stirring further controversy within the party.
In the meantime, it has been learnt that the JaPa top leaders have been told that there will be no ‘understanding’ concerning this by-election. Awami League will field its candidate. Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader made this clear when he spoke to JaPa leader GM Quader on Wednesday morning. He said that they did not want to interfere in JaPa’s internal affairs and that they should go ahead and nominate their candidate as they please.
Several policymakers of JaPa feel that the government is purposely keeping JaPa undecided, as their internal conflict will have an impact on the by-election.
The Rangpur-3 by-election is scheduled for 5 October. Five from JaPa and seven from Awami League has collected nomination forms. The Awami League aspirants include the party’s advisory council member Chowdhury Khalequzzaman, district Awami League general secretary Rezaul Karim and the city committee’s president Shafiur Rahman among others. Four prominent JaPa candidates are Fakhruzzaman Jahangir, SM Yasir, Mehjebunnessa and Rahegir Al Mahir alias Saad Ershad.
*This piece, originally appearing in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten here in English by Ayesha Kabir.