Dhaka, Mar 1: Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad had made an understanding with the 1/11 actors to avoid his arrest, Water Resources Minister and JP presidium member Anisul Islam Mahmud claimed on Tuesday.
Refuting JP chairman’s comment, the minister told reporters that Ershad was one of the actors behind the 1/11 debacle.
He urged for a commission to put the 1/11 architects on trial, as well as those responsible for the January 5, 2014 elections, so that there is transparency for public observation.
“JP chairman had requested his younger brother GM Kader for taking the acting chairman position. But he refused it. I didn’t take up the acting chairman position by force, rather Ershad requested me. Ershad would have been arrested if he did not take the wheel as the party’s chairman then,” Anisul Islam Mahmud told reporters at the secretariat.
Earlier, Ershad claimed that Mahmud had taken the acting chairman position of JP removing him.
The former dictator also demanded of trial of JP leader Mahmud considering his (Mahmud) role during the army-backed caretaker government as one of the actors of 1/11.
“Sheikh Hasina had arrested and then Khaleda Zia—after then come to turn of Ershad. But he had made understanding with the 1/11 actors and said he would step down to evade arrest. I just save him by taking up the acting chairman position of JP,” Anisul Islam Mahmud said.
He refused involvement of any kind in the 1/11 takeover, saying he never met the individuals involved in it.
He went on to say that the media had misconstrued what Ershad had spoken about him, saying that the party’s chairman deemed him to be his favourite person and it was printed in a leading daily.
Mahmud added that if he had forcefully usurped any position, then Ershad would not have appointed him as the legal guardian of his son, Eric.
When asked about the internal conflict going on in their party, he said that it is not acceptable that everyone would obey one person’s statements.
Rather, he added that the party is practicing democracy by protesting anything undemocratic they find.
The minister opined that he wants to stay in the party democratically and internal conflict should not destroy the party from within.
After he was asked about rumours of him floating a new Jatiya Party faction, he quashed the rumours, saying that he would only leave the party if it is a majority decision and for the good of the party.
On being asked about a lot of members withdrawing their party nominations during the election in the last moment, he replied that for the greater good of the country and the people they did not withdraw.
Anisul, after being asked about being in the opposition party, replied that unlike BNP, his party actually discussed more actively in the parliament regarding bills, showing that the government and opposition party can work together for the benefit of the country.
He refused rumours of withdrawing from his ministerial post, but refused to comment on party leader Ershad’s role in all of it.
When he was asked about GM Quader’s role in the party, Mahmud said that he had lobbied for a ministerial post, unlike him, through a letter by Ershad.