Sunday, September 22, 2019

Jatiya Party negotiating with Awami League to free Rangpur-3 seat for Shad Ershad

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-09-09 17:47:20 BdST

bdnews24

The Jatiya Party is in negotiations with its election ally the ruling Awami League to clear the way for Rahgir Al Mahi (Shad Ershad), the son of former military strongman HM Ershad, to take the Rangpur-3 seat in a by-election.

The by-polls to the parliamentary constituency that fell vacant after the death of Ershad are slated for Oct 5. 

Asked about the prospect of a compromise over the seat with the Awami League, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader was coy on the issue and suggested that it may take until Sept 16, the deadline for withdrawing nominations, to reach a consensus.

"We can't say anything at present. We can't even say that it won't happen. We spoke to them (Awami League) on the issue but couldn't reach any consensus as of now," Quader told reporters at the party's Banani office on Monday.

"We discussed a few issues and they said they would consider those. We'll be able to confirm our decision after three or four days by the last day of nomination withdrawal," said Quader.

Jatiya Party has held the Rangpur-3 seat since 1986 with its founding chairman Ershad winning the seat in the last two elections in 2014 and 2018.

The Awami League did not nominate any candidate to contest the seat in either of those two elections.

The Rangpur-3 seat became vacant when the opposition  leader in the 11th parliament died on Jul 14 . The Election Commission announced the schedule for by-poll slated on  Oct 5.

The ruling party Awami League appear unwilling to relinquish the seat to Jatiya Party and on Saturday, announced Rezaul Karim, general secretary of its Rangpur district wing as the 'boat' candidate.

Jatiya Party named Shad Ershad as its candidate on Sunday.

The nomination for the Rangpur-3 seat alongside the tussle for the party's reins between Ershad's widow Raushon and brother Quader had threatened to divide Jatiya Party. But the row was resolved after the two agreed to split the leadership duties between them.

Shad eventually got the Jatiya Party ticket ahead of cousin and former MP Mokbul Shahriar Asif.

"We decided to nominate Shad after a discussion with the nomination board and a few senior leaders," said Quader.

He hoped that the Jatiya Party leaders and activists will back Shad and help the party hold on to the seat.