ASM Abdur Rab’s JSD splits as Malek Ratan announces separate council

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-11-23 21:06:17 BdST

The Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal headed by ASM Abdur Rab has become the latest party to suffer a split-up.

A faction led by General Secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, whom Rab had at his side all the time whenever the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal had split up earlier, has rejected a council convened by Rab.

The party would hold the council on Jan 11 next year, not on Dec 28 as called by Rab, Ratan said at a press conference in Dhaka on Saturday.

“We are the original JSD. They joined hands with the anti-liberation forces,” Ratan said.

He also pointed finger at Rab for the split. “A faction of the party leadership is responsible for the situation. Since I am the general secretary of the party, there is another faction of the party leadership. You know who he is."

Last week, the Liberal Democratic Party led by Oli Ahmad suffered a split when a splinter of the BNP’s ally formed a new committee, leaving the retired colonel out.

The JSD joined the BNP’s Jatiya Oikya Front alliance led by Dr Kamal Hossain before the last general election.

Leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed Bangladesh’s independence and saw its top leaders hanged for war crimes, also contested in the election under the coalition after losing registration as a political party. 

Ratan lost the election as an Oikya Front candidate for a seat in Cumilla.

In a written statement at the press conference, JSD Joint General Secretary Ataul Karim Faruk blamed Rab for nepotism and leaning much towards the Oikya Front.

“The majority of the leaders and activists have not accepted the illegal council based on a person’s wish undemocratically in violation of the party’s constitution,” he said.

Rab, who had been elected vice-president of the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union or DUCSU before the Liberation War, became involved in forming the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal after independence.

The party has suffered a number of splits since then.

In 1996, Rab became the president and Hasanul Haq Inu the general secretary when two active factions of the party merged. Rab was also made a minister in the Sheikh Hasina-led government at the time.

Later, Rab and Inu split the party again.

After the Election Commission allotted the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal’s torch symbol to the faction called JaSoD and led by Inu, Rab got his faction registered as JSD before the polls.