Monday, July 22, 2019

GM Quader, Ranga say Ershad wasn’t barred from going abroad for treatment

  • Staff Correspondent
    Published: 2018-12-06 21:48:01 BdST


HM Ershad’s brother GM Quader has refuted the Jatiya Party chief’s allegation that he was barred from taking treatment abroad despite his illness ahead of the election.

The ousted military strongman is “as healthy as an 88-year-old person should be”, Quader says.

Newly appointed Secretary General Mashiur Rahman Ranga agrees with Quader, who is also a co-chairman of the party.

There is no restriction on Ershad to travel abroad for medical treatment, according to Ranga.

Quader and Ranga faced queries on the issue after a discussion at the party’s Banani offices in Dhaka hours after Ershad brought the explosive allegation on Thursday.

“Today I want to say that nobody can stop me.  I’ll move forward. I have become old but they won’t let me have treatment. They won’t let me travel abroad. But I’m not scared of death,” the Jatiya Party chairman told his supporters after suddenly coming to the offices.

Ershad has missed public events for the last few weeks since the Jatiya Party began its nomination process. Leaders from both Jatiya Party and the Awami League have provided journalists with varying accounts of his sickness. He was also admitted to the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka.

After the brief conversation with his supporters, Ershad returned home and talked to them again at the programme over phone.

“More difficult time is coming. But everyone will have to work for the party. Our good days will return,” said Ershad as he motivated the leaders and activists.

He also asked them not to be frustrated about the share of seats it is going to get from the ruling Awami League to contest in the upcoming election.

After the programme, Quader told reporters: “Ershad is an elderly politician. He is naturally suffering from old-age problems.”

Ershad moves more than the doctors allow him to, raising concern of deterioration of his health, according to his brother.

“But it’s not that he is being barred from taking treatment or he is in a dire condition. He is not fully well either,” Quader said.

The Jatiya Party vice-chairman also said the party was not “anxious” about taking Ershad to Singapore for treatment now.

“He is as healthy as he should be,” he added, declining to reveal the details about Ershad’s health.

The Jatiya Party chairman is in touch with every activity of the party and it is being run on his instructions, according to Quader.

Asked if the government barred Ershad from travelling abroad, Quader said there is no reason for the ruling party to do so.

And it would not be possible to replace ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader with Ranga if Ershad was not in control of the party, he added.

Ershad can travel to Singapore after settling the issue with the Awami League over his party’s share of parliamentary seats for contesting in the Dec 30 election, according to Ranga. 

“The deadline for nomination withdrawal is Dec 9. We’ve requested him to go abroad after that day.

“And we also feel bad when our chief stays abroad.”

After announcing boycott of the last general elections in 2014, Ershad had been admitted to the CMH amid high drama. His party joined the polls and he became an MP again. He was appointed the prime minister’s special envoy later.

After the last election, Ershad said he would speak out later about contesting in the polls from hospital, but he said nothing about the event in five years.

The Jatiya Party, which became the main opposition in parliament after the BNP boycotted the last election, is going to the polls under the umbrella of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance this time, as the BNP has returned to election.