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JP ministers may resign today

Staff Correspondent

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion stand guard at the residence of Jatiya Party chairman Hossain Mohammad Ershad on Wednesday. — New Age photo 
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion stand guard at the residence of Jatiya Party chairman Hossain Mohammad Ershad on Wednesday. — New Age photo

All the seven ministers and an adviser to the prime minister from the Jatiya Party will resign from the election-time government today.
The party’s secretary general Ruhul Amin Hawlader on Wednesday night said this to reporters after a meeting with the party chief, HM Ershad, in his house at Baridhara.
Ershad, earlier in the day, asked all his party leaders now in the polls-time cabinet to resign immediately.
He gave the instruction a day after announcing boycott of the 10th parliamentary elections scheduled for January 5.
Ershad also asked all his party candidates to withdraw their nomination papers as the Jatiya Party has decided not to contest the elections without the participation of all political parties.
There are four ministers and two state ministers from the party in the election-time cabinet. The party has one of its leaders as adviser to the prime minister.
‘The Jaitya Party will not contest the elections. I ask the candidates to withdraw their nomination papers,’ Ershad told newsmen at his house at Baridhara in the afternoon.
‘I also ask all of JP ministers and advisers to resign from the cabinet,’ Ershad said. ‘Every day, people are killed in violence and such a situation is not suitable for elections.’
Earlier on Tuesday, Ershad announced that he had decided to boycott the polls and said that the fate of cabinet members from the Jaitya Party would be decided soon. 
After Tuesday’s announcement, Ershad could not be reached till he entered his house at Baridhara a few minutes before the earlier scheduled meeting with the visiting Indian foreign secretary Sujatha Singh at 4:00pm.
Immediately after the meeting with the Indian foreign secretary, Ershad told reporters at his house that he had directed his candidates to withdraw nomination to avoid facing backlashes.
‘We cannot contest the polls amid bloodshed taking place every day. If elections are held, not more than 2 per cent of the votes will be cast,’ Ershad said.
After Ershad’s directives, New Age sought reaction from two JP ministers — Ruhul Amin Hawalder and Anisul Islam Mahmud — who were waiting in the waiting room on the ground floor of Ershad’s house.
They both said that they would carry out the directive immediately. They also told New Age on Wednesday that they would no longer attend office from today.
New Age found that four ministers from the the Jatiya Party did not go to their to their respective ministries on Wednesday.
The health and family welfare minister, Raushan Ershad, the civil aviation and tourism minister, ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader, the water resources minister, Anisul Islam Mahmud, and the state minister for women and children affairs, Salma Islam, did not attend their office. The commerce minister, GM Quader, and the state minister for youth and sports, Mujibul Haque (Chunnu), however, attended. Mujibul left his office about 2:00pm.
Jatiya Party presidium member Ziauddin Bablu, who was discharging his duty as an adviser to the prime minister, went to Ganabhaban, the official residence of the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, last on Tuesday night.
Ziauddin told New Age that he was busy with the party chairman all day long and did not go to office.

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