Ershad’s ‘odd’ absence

block :HM Ershad was conspicuously absent when Jatiya Party MPs went to pay their tribute to martyrs at the National Memorial. Jatiya Party leaders offered various explanations for the party chief’s absence.Raushan, the Leader of the Opposition, led a 27-strong group that included Jatiya Party Presidium members Anisul Islam Mahmud, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, Kazi Firoz as part of a prescheduled programme of the parliamentary party to pay respects to the nation’s martyrs on Sunday noon.Ershad and Jatiya Party’s Secretary General ABM Rhul Amin Howlader were not present.About Ershad’s absence, his wife Raushan said, “The chairman and secretary general couldn’t come because they were busy with other work.”When asked what kept them from coming, Kazi Firoz told that they were interviewing candidates for reserved women’s seats in Parliament.Masud Parvez, alias Sohel Rana, a Jatiya Party Presidium member, in reply to the same question said the party had decided to sell forms from Friday to Sunday.”Interviews will be held on Monday. He (chairman) will interview the candidates today,” he said. “It’s also a mystery to us,” said the actor-turned politician.”He is an elected member. Therefore, he should have been present in the parliamentary party.”When asked if the chairman was feeling under the weather, Masud Parvez said, “No, he is not sick.”Meanwhile, the Jatiya Party’s executive committee member Azharul Islam Shourav said Ershad had not got an invitation from the parliamentary party.