It has been 26 years since he last came to the state power. With a number of cases against him, Jatiya Party Chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad also witnessed split into his party at least five times. Despite all these facts, the military dictator is still considered a trump card in the country's political arena when it comes to election since the 90s.
Though he has always been the talk of the town for his role while holding office, Ershad came to limelight yet again by celebrating his birthday at Madhur Canteen of Dhaka University of late.
This apart, the former president was not even allowed at National Press Club during his tenure. But, he put his footstep there with pride recently by holding a press meet. He also exchanged greetings with the press club officials spending a two-hour span there.
Ershad out of nowhere turning up in the two spots where he once faced persona non grata has created many rumours in politics. The incident saw many editorials written ever since. This did not just stop there. Rather, television stations are airing talk shows over the issue. Leaders of top political parties including Awami League and BNP are making mixed reaction on the matter as well.
After the 90s, Jatiya Party failed to get an access to the university campus and press club premises despite repeated attempts. The party was even stronger than its prevailing status, though.
BNP and Awami League assume the office by rotation. Taking advantage of the power rotation, Jatiya Chhatra Samaj tried to reorganise at DU several times. It also held some rallies and brought out several processions on the university campus. Interestingly, the leftist student platforms try to stop it from doing so, instead of BCL or JCD.
The left-leaning student bodies alongside Chhatra Dal and Chhatra League have an influence on student politics on DU campus. However, Jatiya Chhatra Samaj, the student front of Jatiya Party, is active across the country, though it has little ground at DU.
AL Office Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das told bbarta that Ershad might have entered into DU or press club in a different situation.
"But, I do not think he (Ershad) regretted or got rid of the stigma he has for his injustice during his dictatorship," Mrinal said, adding, those, who do or bear injustice, are the same in the long run.
Contacted, BNP Standing Committee Member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy said the ground of politics is changing. Ershad, as a dictator, was banned from entering DU and press club. Compared to the dictatorship the ruling Awami League is doing, Ershad does not deserve the name.
"Ershad is a child when compared to Awami League's autocracy," he observed.