Jatiya Party chaos: Who will get the ‘plough’ in Rangpur?

Aditto Rimon
Published : 12:23, Sep 07, 2019 | Updated : 12:24, Sep 07, 2019

Jatiya Party (JaPa) chief Ghulam Muhammed Quader (R) with Rowshan Ershad at a party meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan on Oct 20, 2018. Photo/SAZZAD HOSSAIN.There still remains much confusion on who will get Jatiya Party’s electoral symbol ‘plough’ for Rangpur-3 given the party is now divided into two factions between founding chairman HM Ershad’s widow Raushan Ershad and his brother GM Quader.
The pro-Raushan faction reportedly wants to float Ershad’s son Rahgir Al Mahir (Saad Ershad) while Jatiya Party’s Rangpur Metropolitan committee General Secretary SM Yeasir seems to be the favourite of the pro-GM Quader faction.
A Jatiya Party stronghold, the Ragpur-3 constituency fell vacant after the death of its lawmaker HM Ershad died on Jul 14.
The by-polls are scheduled for Oct 5 with the last date to submit nomination being Sept 9, scrutiny Sept 11 and the last date to drop out of the race on Sept 16.
Activists and leaders are of the view that with the existing disagreements regarding the party leadership allocation of the symbol will depend mostly on the Election Commission (EC), should the top leadership fail to come to a solution
Meanwhile, EC sources said that they received two separate applications one with Raushan’s name and the other with Quader’s name as party chairman.
However, both applications named Mashiur Rahman Ranga as the secretary and according to the commission the candidate’s nomination form he signs will be allocated the ‘plough’ symbol.
On Sept 5, Presidium member Anisul Islam Mahmud announced that Raushan, who had been serving as the co-chairman will be the party chairman.
Later acting Chairman GM Quader said that the chief will be elected through council and there was no rift within the party.
Amid the rift, the parliamentary board led by GM Quader interviewed the contenders for the seat where aspirants Fakhruzzaman Jahangir and SM Yeasir turned up in person.
HM Ershad’s niece and the wife of Presidium member Ziauddin Bablu’s wife Mehjabunnesa Tumpa was interviewed over the phone.
Saad Ershad neither showed up for the interview, neither did he submit the nomination form.
A Presidium member wishing to remain anonymous told Bangla Tribune that since Saad didn’t show up, the party has finalised SM Yasir to contest the polls.
Meanwhile, pro-Raushan Presidium member Fakhrul Imam told Bangla Tribune “The Jatiya Party candidate for Rangpur-3 hasn’t yet been finalised.”
Declining to comment on why Saad didn’t turn up at the interview, he said that she will finalise the candidate on Saturday (Sept 7).