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Ershad brings back Ranga to JaPa presidium

Ranga’s return is a proof of Raushan’s mounting supremacy in the party

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, known for changing his decisions in matters of minutes, yesterday brought back his party’s presidium member Moshiur Rahman Ranga whom he had expelled just a few months ago.

Insiders say Ranga’s return is a proof of Raushan’s mounting supremacy in the party. This idea got reinforced as Ershad did not give any explanation behind his decision to bring him back.

As Ranga, who is closer to Raushan Ershad than the party chief, completes his hat-trick comeback to JaPa, some leaders and activists, mostly close to the chief, have expressed disappointment.

Although HM Ershad is the party chief, his wife and presidium member Raushan is currently the leader of the opposition in parliament. A few days before the January 5 election, two streams of influence – one loyal to Raushan and the other to Ershad – have surfaced within the JaPa ranks.

Sunil Shuvo Roy, press and political secretary of Ershad, announced Ranga’s return in a press release yesterday.

Sources said since the expulsion, Ershad had been under constant pressure from Raushan and also the government, of which Ranga is a state minister.

Reportedly, Ershad’s decision to bring him back was propelled by a strong recommendation from a government high-up.

On Monday, Ranga held a meeting with Ershad at his residence and discussed the issue of his return, sources said.

On September 10, Ershad expelled Ranga, state minister for local government, and Tajul Islam Chowdhury, opposition chief whip in parliament, from their JaPa presidium posts because they had criticised his leadership.

Ranga and Tajul were also removed from their top positions in the Rangpur district and city corporation units and Kurigram district units of JaPa.

Mustafizur Rahman Mostafa, convener of Rangpur city unit JaPa, said: “Mr Ershad has the power and he exercised it.

What else can we say? It [bringing back Ranga] is frustrating and the people of Rangpur did not take it well. It will simply backfire and affect the party’s activities. The party has been trying to regroup but that process will be hampered now.”

When contacted, Ranga told the Dhaka Tribune, “Mr Ershad is the party chief. He has the authority to both expel and bringing anyone back for the sake of the party. So, he did what he thought was right. I am very grateful to him.

“I met him yesterday [Monday] and talked to him even today. Although I was relieved of party duties, I always maintained contact with Mr Ershad,” Ranga said.

When asked about might have pursue Ershad to withdraw the expulsion order, Ranga said: “I do not know.”

Party insiders said Tajul would also get back his presidium position as soon as Ershad realised that this was not the right time to mess with Raushan as she was now in real good terms with the government.

When asked if there was any pressure from Rangpur to bring Ranga back, Mostafa, who is loyal to Ershad, said: “Not at all. There might be pressure from Raushan Ershad or the government.” Mostafa apprehended that Ranga might interfere with the Rangpur district committee too. “When he was expelled, he was in charge of the district committee.

“But now that he got back his presidium position, he may corner the pro-Ershad leaders.”

He also alleged that even after being expelled, Ranga, who is a state minister, used local administration and police to occupy the Rangpur office but was later evicted by Ershad’s supporters. “Now the supporters of Ershad might face music and the party might be the eventual loser here.”

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