The Jatiya Party has ended the deadlock over its leadership, according to two senior leaders.
The leaders of two factions of the party, headed by founder HM Ershad’s widow Raushan Ershad and his brother GM Quader, held talks late on Saturday (Sept 7), which was mediated by Secretary General Mashiur Rahman Ranga.
Presidium member ASM Faisal Chishty, a loyalist of Raushan, told Bangla Tribune that it has been agreed that Quader will head the party while Raushan will be the leader of the opposition in the House.
Kazi Feroz Rashid, a supporter Quader who also sits on the policymaking presidium, echoed while speaking to an online newspaper.
It was also decided that the party will float Rahgir Al Mahi alias Saad Ershad, the late party founder’s foster son, as its candidate for the upcoming Rangpur bypolls.
Raushan supporters Majibul Haque Chunnu, Anisul Islam Mahmud, Fakhrul Imam, AKM Salim Osman and SM Faysal Chisty, and Quader loyalists Rashid, Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, Masud Uddin Chowdhury and Syed Abu Hossain Babla attended the meeting.
Any official confirmation on the decision is yet to come. But Secretary General Ranga is expected to brief the media at the party chief’s Banani offices on Sunday (Sept 8).
Meanwhile, Raushan, the deputy leader of the opposition now, called a meeting of the Jatiya Party Parliamentary Party at her office in parliament at 1pm on Sunday.
Quader has been also invited to the meeting and its agendas include the issue of electing the leader of the opposition in parliament.
It will be the first meeting of the Jatiya Party lawmakers after the death of party founder Ershad on Jul 14.
Ershad’s death had put Jatiya Party on the verge of another split over an escalating power struggle between Raushan and Quader.
After the deposed military dictator died in July, the rift widened recently over the party’s nomination for by-polls to Rangpur-3, vacated following the death of Ershad.
It heightened on Wednesday (Sept 4), when Raushan and her supporters declared illegal Quader’s letter sent to the Speaker the previous seeking to succeed Ershad as the leader of the opposition.
Named as acting chairman by Ershad before his death, Quader claims to have the support of the majority leaders in the Jatiya Party Parliamentary Party, but Raushan and leaders loyal to her do not agree.
The faction led by Raushon declared her chief on Thursday (Sept 5), drawing threat of retaliatory action from Quader.