Ex-Jamaat leaders announce new political party

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Dhaka, April 27: Former leaders of Jamaat-e-Islam have formed a new political party – Jono Aakankhyar Bangladesh – headed by expelled Jamaat leader Mojibur Rahman Monju.Monju, also former president of Islami Chhatra Shibir, announced the new party name officially at a press briefing in Paltan’s Hotel 71 around 11:30am on Saturday.

Monju, who will be the convener of the new party, said the party will be formed neither based on religion, nor on any ideology following a certain theory.

Five committees have been formed to oversee the organisation’s 19-point programme, said Monju, adding, “The committees have already started its activities.”

The ruling Awami League also did not provide any assistance with the initiative, he added.

Tajul Islam, the lawyer for Jamaat leaders facing trial for war crimes, also attended the media briefing.

A faction of the Jamaat-e-Islam had called for reforms to the party following the war crimes trials against party leaders over their role in the Liberation War in 1971.

Last year, the party’s assistant secretary general Abdur Razzak issued an apology for Jamaat’s role in the Liberation War before resigning from the party, adding impetus to the demands for change.

Since February 15, at least six Jamaat leaders have stepped down, with Monju ousted from the party for seconding the demand in a Facebook post, hours after Razzak’s resignation.

Jamaat which lost its registration by a High Court order on October 29, 2018, obtained 693,077 votes in 22 constituencies in the December 30 polls, the lowest since the 7th parliamentary election in 1996.