After the death of former president HM Ershad, the internal conflict of the Jatiya Party became one of the hottest topics in Bangladesh’s political circuit. But for a healthy democracy, the future of this party and what role it may play in the next election given its current situation.
After getting elected as the president of Jatiya Party, Golam Mohammad Quader, mostly known as GM Quader, the younger brother of HM Ershad, said in multiple stages that Jatiya Party is not the organisation to lose its mandate. Rather, they are stepping up their efforts to gain acceptance and popularity on the national stage, preparing to fight hardest in the next election.
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With the next national election knocking at the door to take place in 2024, the Jatiya Party’s internal conflict is still a matter of concern to its supporters. Recent results of by-elections for parliament and Rangpur City Corporation election have shown that Jatiya Party still holds a voting group to sway the road of domestic politics. If the party can handle the intra-party conflict and get united behind GM Quader’s leadership Jatiya Party has possibility to gain a lot in the upcoming election.
Impact of GM Quader
Though a separate personality compared to HM Ershad, GM Quader has already made his impact felt in the party, as he is well known for his cool-headed brain. The Co-Chairman of the Jatiya Party, when asked about GM Quader, said, “Whether the court allows it or not, the party will still function under Quader’s command, and we are all ready for it.”
Mashiur Rahman Ranga, the former general secretary of the Jatiya Party, said, “Whether I am assigned any duty or not, I will never leave this party’s side. I will work according to the final decision of the Jatiya Party in the next general election.”
Rowshan Ershad, the chief patron of the Jatiya Party and the opposite party leader of the national assembly, is well known for her support for the Awami League. However, as she becomes ill and is unable to participate in activities due to her physical condition, the anti-Awami League side is growing stronger in the Jatiya Party.
What could be the new strategy?
GM Quader, who is known as a cool-minded politician, has given numerous indications by his activities and speeches that he will not be in alliance with the Awami League in the upcoming election. As there is no HM Ershad now, there is no obedience-matter in the case of Golam Mohammad Quader.
In addition, the general secretary of the Jatiya Party, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, clarified his view regarding the alleged corruption of the Awami League in the past two elections, where the government is said to have cast votes in their favour at mid-night.
“So, as there is no Ershad issue and no case-file obligations, the government is applying the divide and rule technique to hold the leash of the Jatiya party and control it thereby,” says Badiul Alam.
The analyst also said that not allowing an elected party chairman to perform his duty by publishing a court order is a first time incidence happened in Bangladesh’s history of politics.
In response to not being able to perform his duty as the chairman, G.M. Quader said, “If I can’t perform my duty as the chairman of the party, then I must say, the future of this party is dark. The people of this country are not only angry with the Awami League, but also with BNP activists. In fact, people are not ready to believe these two parties anymore. Rather, they are saying that Bangladesh was far better in the Jatiya Party’s ruling era. So, in general, people are waiting for us to do something and bring the country out of this sterile situation.
Recent stances and gains of the Jatiya Party
Though having tough times in office, the Jatiya Party is still showing its strengths in north Bengal. The Jatiya Party is said to have severe popularity in the Rangpur region, on the northern side of Bangladesh. But in the last general election, it managed to get only seven seats out of 32 in this area. Aside from the BNP’s one seat, the rest were won by the Awami League in a landslide victory over the Jatiya Party and other contesting parties.
But in the first week of this month, the Jatiya Party again proved its ground by winning the by-election of Thakurgaon-3, where the contestant of the Jatiya Party, Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, won comprehensively over other contestants. In addition, GM Quader said to give contestants in all 300 seats in the upcoming general election of Bangladesh. In all of his speeches, he is constantly attempting to point out government errors, about which he claims that criticising the government does not imply going against the country. However, he is not in favour of being elected under the aegis of any other party; rather, he advocates self-sufficiency in all contests. Whenever he gets the chance, he is going to the areas where the organisational structure needs him the most and trying to revive the strength of the Jatiya Party there. So, if things continue in this manner, the Jatiya Party may surprise us very soon.