The manifesto was announced in the absence of party Chairman HM Ershad
Jatiya Party has promised to establish a federalist government system in its election manifesto for the 11th general election.
The 18-point manifesto was announced by Ruhul Amin Howlader, special assistant to the party chairman, at Jatiya Party's central Banani office—around 10:30am on Friday.
In its first point, Jatiya Party pledged to introduce a two-tier government system: a central government, which will be called the "federal government", and a provincial one.
Under the provincial system, the eight administrative divisions will be upgraded to provinces. They will be named as: Uttar Banga, Barendra, Jahangirnagar, Jalalabad, Jahanabad, Chadra Dwip, Mainamati and Chattala provinces.
The central, or federal, government will be at the helm of the 300-constituency house, while the provincial government will have a provincial parliament. Every upazila or thana under the provincial parliament will be deemed a constituency.
The party also vowed to shift at least half of the headquarters of government organizations, and agencies, to provincial capitals.
The 13th point of the manifesto mentioned that all strikes, blockades, and similar actions— that hamper the day-to-day activities of the public—will be banned if Jatiya Party comes to power.
The last point mentions that, if the party comes to power, immediately afterwards it will amend the Constitution to increase the number of reserved seats in the parliament from 50—currently reserved for women only—to 80.
The additional 30 seats will be reserved for religious minorities;a move to bolster their presence in the parliament.
Jatiya Party also pledged to ensure better employment and higher education opportunities for religious minorities.
A Religious Minority Affairs Ministry and a commission will also be set up, the last point of the manifesto mentions.
Party Chairman HM Ershad and other senior leaders were notably absent during the presentation of the manifesto.
Replying to reporters' questions about the absence of Ershad, Ruhul Amin said: "Our chairman was admitted to a hospital in Singapore on Wednesday. He will return to Bangladesh as soon as he recovers."
The other senior leaders were absent as they were busy campaigning, Ruhul Amin said.
On Monday, Ershad went to Singapore for medical treatment.
Before going abroad, Ershad appointed Howlader as his special assistant to conduct all the organizational responsibilities of a party chairman in his absence.
The 11th parliamentary election is slated to be held on December 30.