Rawshan overpowers HM Ershad

The parliamentary party meeting also decided to recommend HM Ershad for reinstatement of Moshiur Rahman Ranga and Tajul Islam Chowdhury in the party presidium

JaPa Chairman HM Ershad has apparently been put to rout in power tussle with his wife Rawshon Ershad who was able to whip up support of at least 27 of the total 40 lawmakers at the parliamentary party meeting yesterday.

Opposing the former general’s view of stepping down from the cabinet the Jatiya Party (JaPa) parliamentary party meeting decided that it would stay on with the cabinet until the forum reversed this decision, State Minister for Labour Mujibul Haque said.

The parliamentary party meeting also decided to recommend HM Ershad for reinstatement of Moshiur Rahman Ranga and Tajul Islam Chowdhury in the party presidium.

Earlier, Ershad relieved State Minister for Local Government Moshiur Rahman Ranga and Opposition Chief Whip Tajul Islam Chowdhury for siding with Rawshon.

The parliamentary party upheld the decision of Rawshon Ershad to nominate Kazi Feroz Rashid, whom Ershad also removed from the president of Dhaka city unit of JaPa for siding with his wife, as the deputy leader of the opposition.

Yesterday’s (Sunday’s) parliamentary party meeting apparently was a face off between party HM Ershad and Rawshon Ershad.

The meeting was supposed to discuss the appointment of the deputy leader of the opposition as Ershad formally opposed Rawshon’s choice, Kazi Feroz Rashid.

Ershad wants his Secretary General Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu to become the deputy leader of the opposition.

The meeting started at 3.45 pm at the chamber of the opposition leader. At the outset, 20 MPs turned up at the meeting. Then six more MPs joined the meeting.

Ershad did not attend the meeting. Flanked by Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, he came to his office at 4.35pm on the first floor of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. Just one floor above his office in the same block, the parliamentary party meeting was in progress. Mohammad Noman and Abu Hossain Babla were with Ershad.

At the beginning, Rawshan Ershad gave an opening speech referring to the removal of Moshiur Rahman and Tajul Islam Chowdhury from the party’s council of presidium. She urged the MPs not to talk against Ershad as he was the symbol of Japa.

“I would rather request him (Ershad) to grant pardon to Ranga and Tajul if they caused trouble,” Mujibul Haque, who was designated to brief media, told the Dhaka Tribune quoting Rawshan Ershad.

The attending MPs accepted the move and they focused on discussing the JaPa’s role in the passage of the 16th constitution amendment bill.

Mujibul Haque raised the issue at the meeting saying the Supreme Court judges must be accountable to the legislature to uphold the spirit of parliamentary democracy. The meeting then decided to back the government in the passage of the bill, said the spokesperson.

“We will be in the cabinet until any of the next parliament party meetings scraps the decision,” Tajul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune.

The meeting also decided that the opposition leader’s previous letter favouring nomination of Kazi Feroz Rashid as the deputy leader of the opposition should be valid leaving it to the decision of the speaker.

“You (press) create problem out of nothing. I do not want to make any comment,” Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu said replying to the Dhaka Tribune question why he, Ershad and other MPs skipped the parliamentary party meeting.

Ershad remained until the sitting started at around 5.10 pm. He entered the chamber from his office, stayed there for some times and left the House 10 minutes after the JaPa MPs led by Rawshon Ershad entered the assembly.

Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu and Moshiur Rahman, who on Thursday threatened him, sat next to each other. They were seen discussing in the House before the Maghreb prayer recess. He did not return to the House after recess.

Ershad and Rawshon Ershad had been butting heads since the declaration of the schedules of the January 5 general elections the BNP boycotted. Ershad first announced participating in the polls but later made a u-turn asking the party candidates to withdraw their candidatures.

But her wife and some presidium members stood against his decision and participated in the polls. Ershad was in captivity under the pretext of illness until the general elections were over.

Ershad was elected MP but the party MPs elected Rawshan the opposition leader while he had the post of party chief. Most of the MPs sided with his wife.

Apparently to reestablish his control over the party Ershad first removed Kazi Feroz Rashid from the party post of chief of Dhaka city unit and opposed Rawshon Ershad’s decision to appoint him as the deputy leader of the opposition.

He also removed Moshiur Rahman and Tajul Islam from the party’s presidium council.

Source: Dhaka Tribune