'We do not want to stay in the cabinet anymore'
Special envoy to the prime minister and Chairman of Jatiya Party (JaPa) HM Ershad has declared that he, along with three other Jatiya Party ministers, will resign from the Cabinet very soon.
The JaPa chief made the announcement at a press briefing held at the Rangpur circuit house on Friday morning.
Echoing Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad, Ershad said: “She [Raushan] was right to say that it was a wrong decision to take me or the other Jatiya Party members in the Cabinet. Because of this, the image of our party was slammed, and we had to face a lot of criticism.”
Ershad added that the move to join the Cabinet was a political manoeuvre, examples of which can be found in other countries like Germany. “But we do not want to stay in the Cabinet any more,” he said.
Confirming that there was no chance of Jatiya Party making an alliance with BNP, Ershad said: “I am highly suspicious regarding BNP’s participation in the upcoming election. Still, as the government is trying hard, we think BNP should participate.”
Ershad also said that BNP is suffering from a leadership crisis in Khaleda Zia’s absence, and this could hamper their prospects in the general election slated for early next year.
While speaking on the topic of Khaleda Zia’s bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, Ershad said: “I stayed in jail for six years and two months. Even though all my offences were bailable, I did not get any bail. Even after the High Court ordered it, I was not allowed to come to the parliament.
“No other leader in the world suffered as much as I did. The injustice committed against me is incomparable,” Ershad said.
“We [JaPa] have called a grand rally in Dhaka on March 24. We are hoping 500,000 people will attend. We want to show how the general population has strengthened Jatiya Party’s power, so much so that we will be able to march into the next election alone.”
When asked whether there were going to be any surprises at the grand rally, Ershad replied: “Of course. But the main objective of the rally is to show people that we are ready for the upcoming election.”
Ershad added that the election would not be stopped if BNP does not participate in it. “If Jatiya Party and Awami League take part in the election, it would not matter whether BNP participated or not,” he said.
Members of Jatiya Party welcomed Ershad after he reached the Rangpur circuit house from Saidpur Airport. Secretary General Ruhul Amin Howlader, Co-Chairman GM Quader, Presidium Member Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, and Rangpur City Corporation Mayor Mustafizur Rahman Mostafa were present, among others.