Monday, May 20, 2024

I’m in detention at CMH: Ershad

A day after Jatiya Party (JP) chairman Hussain Muhammad Ershad was admitted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), JP presidium member and Ershad’s younger brother, GM Quader, alleged on Friday that his elder brother was taken to the hospital under unusual circumstances. Confirming Quader’s suspicion, Ershad on Friday issued a statement through his special assistant Bobby Hajjaj, stating he was not sick and had been kept under detention at the CMH for arrest.
“I have been kept under detention in the name of treatment. The JP would not take part in the elections without the participation of all political parties. That is why I have directed all JP candidates to withdraw their nomination papers,” he said in a special message transmitted by Hajjaj.
Ershad further said he would send directions to JP leaders and activists through the party secretary general, ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader, and his younger brother GM Quader.
“I did not appoint any spokesperson for the party. I have heard that one JP leader (Mujibul Huq Chunnu) is issuing statements as party spokesperson. Whatever
statements he is dishing out will be considered his own, not the JP’s. I can take action against anybody for violating the party discipline,” the release further said.
Ershad’s brother GM Quader alleged on Friday that: “The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) shifted the JP chairman to the CMH under strange conditions. I visited him in hospital this day. The hospital authorities informed me that Ershad is not detained and could return home in a day or two. He is well now.” Party secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader and presidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid were present during the press conference at the JP secretary general’s trading house at Gulshan-2 in the capital.
RAB officials, however, claimed that they admitted the former president in hospital on Thursday night after he was taken ill. Ershad was taken to the hospital 12 hours after sending a letter to the Election Commission, requesting it not to allocate his party symbol ‘plough’ to anybody or any organization.
Emphasising that Ershad was still determined to stay away from the 10th Parliamentary elections, Quader said that all JP candidates would withdraw their nominations latest by Friday in keeping with the party chairman’s directive. “Action as per the party constitution would be taken against anyone who violates the directive,” he cautioned.
The JP leadership has also decided against promoting anyone as an alternative chairman in Ershad’s absence. “Nobody would be promoted as an alternative chairman to Ershad. He would continue to remain the party chairman even though he has been admitted to hospital for deciding to boycott the elections,” stated the party secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader, urging party supporters to have patience till a movement was chalked out.
As regards the forthcoming Parliamentary election, the former commerce minister said restoration of normalcy was not possible in the country even if the election is held in the current situation. “The conditions, which are already unstable, would deteriorate further if the elections are held in the current situation, which is why the JP has decided to stay away from the polls.”
Replying to a query on a rumour about the party taking part in the elections led by Rawshan Ershad, he said: “She will clarify her position.”
Meanwhile, a group of pro-government JP leaders held a meeting at Rawshan Ershad’s Gulshan-2 residence in the evening.
Among others, Anisul Islam Mahmud, Kazi Firoz Rashid, Mujibul Huq Chunnu and Syed Abu Hossain Babla attended the meeting. Apart from the JP leaders, industries minister Tofail Ahmed and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s adviser on foreign affairs, Gowher Rizvi, joined the meeting at about 6:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Friday, Kazi Zafar Ahmed, chairman of JP (Zafar), has demanded that Ershad be immediately released.
On Thursday night, a JP delegation led by Begum Rawshan Ershad went to Ganobhaban to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. According to sources at Ganobhaban, the Jatiya Party delegation reached the PM’s official residence in the evening and met the Prime Minister. They held discussions about seat sharing with the ruling Awami League, the sources added.

-With The Independent input

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