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JP ministers hand Ershad resignation letters

AL offers JP to look into cases against Ershad, other things

Staff Correspondent

Four Jatiya Party ministers of the election-time government on Thursday said that they had handed over their resignation letters to the party’s chairman HM Ershad a day after the party had asked them to resign.
They are the civil aviation and tourism minister, Ruhul Amin Hawlader, the commerce minister, GM Quader, the youth and sports minister, Mujibul Hoque Chunnu, and the minister of state for women and children affairs, Salma Islam.
The water resources minister, Anisul Islam Mahmud, who was chased by Jatiya Party activists when he was coming out of Ershad’s house about 9:00pm, said, ‘I do not know.’ Reporters asked him about his resignation.
The Jatiya Party’s secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader told reporters that the four, including him, had handed over the resignation letters to Ershad.
‘We have done what our chief asked us to do. The party chief will meet the president and would hand in all the resignation letters to the president,’ Hawlader said on Thursday evening at Ershad’s house.
Ruhul Amin said that both the water resources minister, Anisul Islam Mahmud, and the prime minister’s adviser Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu had been requested to visit the party chief’s house.
Anisul and Ziauddin are known to party leaders and activists as loyal to the ruling Awami League.
Anisul met Ershad and left the house about 9:00pm. Ziauddin, however, did not met Ershad till 10:00pm on Thursday.
According to Section 58 (1) of the constitution, the office of a minister will fall vacant if he resigns from office by placing his resignation in the hands of the prime minister for submission to the president.
Asked why the resignation letters would be submitted to president, Ershad told reporters quoting his wife Rawshan that she thought that they had taken oath with the president for which resignation letters should be submitted to him.  
Ershad also said that death would be what he would meet if he again revised his decision to boycott the elections. ‘I have heard that law enforcers tried to arrest Nurul Islam Babul who came to me this afternoon. It is unfortunate. Babul is the spouse of my presidium member Salma Islam,’ Ershad said. ‘Both Ziauddin and Anisul will also submit resignation letters to me.’ 
Asked why Rawshan did not submit her resignation, Ershad said, ‘She must do it as she my wife.’
Rawshan left Ershad’s house in the afternoon amid hullabaloo by party activists.
Rawshan avoided making any comments over her resignation and told reporters that Ruhul Amin would brief the newsmen on the resignation.
When Rawshan left Ershad’s house, a number of law enforcers, intelligence agency people, including chief of one of the agencies, were present there.
Ershad condemned the presence of intelligence officers in and around his house.
The Awami League has, meanwhile, offered the Jatiya Party to look into the cases pending with court against Ershad, 70 seats that were decided in negotiation and some other facilities.
‘The Awami League told us that all the six cases filed against our chief would be looked into. We will also get all the 70 seats decided earlier in negotiation if we contest the polls and revise the decision on resignation from the cabinet,’ one of the seven Jatiya Party ministers said.
Rawshan, Hawlader and Chunnu met the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Thursday.
After the meeting that continued for two hours, Hawlader came out and told reporters that they would meet Ershad on some matters which they had discussed with the prime minister.
In reply to a question, Ershad said that he had not contacted the prime minister but his wife Rawshan had.

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