Leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of ruling Awami League (AL), are passing busy times as the much-awaited 29th central council of the student organisation is going to be held on May 11 and 12.
Meanwhile, the DU unit council of BCL will be held on Sunday. AL general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader will attend it as the chief guest.
The aspirants for top posts in BCL central committee and DU unit already started knocking at the doors of high profile AL and former BCL leaders seeking their favour.
With the announcement of the fresh council dates, BCL leaders also started their rival campaigns.
AL chief Sheikh Hasina has already made it clear that lobbying would not be entertained and that the leaders would be elected on the basis of merit.
Although the BCL DU unit council is scheduled to be held on Sunday, but it will take a week more for announcement of the names of the candidates who will vie for the posts of president and secretary due to absence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is on Australia tour.
As per tradition of BCL council, a number of issues are discussed before choosing leaders of the student organisation. These include: Family background, regular studentship, past and present sacrifice for the organisation and the areas from where they come from.
In previous councils, the students of Dhaka University (DU) took the BCL leadership by holding the posts of central president and general secretary.
In every council, two leaders of BCL, in both central and DU unit, came from Barishal and Faridpur regions. Other leaders were chosen from other regions of the country.
As per tradition, DU and central BCL leaders will come from greater Barishal and Chattogram regions as well as from Rangpur and Faridpur regions.
About the BCL leaders coming from greater Khulna, Sylhet and Mymensingh regions, the matter will be decided through discussions.
Ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, AL gives much importance to this year’s conference.
BCL general secretary SM Zakir Hossain told the daily Sun: “PM’s decision in selecting next tenure’s BCL leaders would be final as she is the guardian of the ruling party’s student wing.”
He said: “As per BCL constitution, we have taken all-out preparations for holding the council in scheduled time under guidance of AL chief Sheikh Hasina.”
He said that that eligible, meritorious and regular students would take the BCL leadership”.
Many aspirants also fear interference of ‘syndicate’ being led by former BCL leaders and AL high ups. In the past, syndicate had always reshaped the BCL committee.
A BCL leader, who told this correspondent on condition of anonymity, that ‘syndicate’ is the cause of frustration for honest, meritorious and popular student leaders.
Since 2006, syndicate had always chosen BCL leaders as per their whims.
“If the present syndicate is abolished, then another syndicate will rise up. So, we seek direct interference of the AL president in choosing the BCL leadership,’’ he added.
Some leaders think that syndicate of the BCL is becoming inactive as they have already known that Sheikh Hasina will not allow any inferior quality leaders in the upcoming committee.
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader also told the media that BCL will be sorted out in a new way. There will be zero tolerance for any criminal activities.
The two-year tenure of the present BCL committee, led by Saifur Rahman Sohag and SM Jakir Hossain, formed through the 28th national council in 2015, expired on July 26, last year.
Top aspirants are:
Chattogram region: BCL training affairs secretary Mazharul Islam Shamim, deputy school student secretary Sayed Arafat, Khaja Khair Sujon, deputy International affairs secretary HM Tajuddin, DU Salimullah Muslim Hall unit BCL president Tahsan Ahmed Rasel, Sir AF Rahman Hall secretary Mahmudul Hasan Tushsr and Muhsin Hall president Sarkar Jahir Rayhan.
Barishal region: Law secretary of BCL, Al Nahiyan Khan Joy, relief and disaster secretary Yeaz Al Riyad, agriculture secretary Barkot Hossain Howlader, deputy entertainment secretary Arifuzzaman Al Imran, assistant secretary Khadimul Bashar Joy and Sabur khan Kalinse.
Faridpur region: Vice-president of BCL Arefin Siddique Sujon, DU unit vice-president Biddut Shariar Kabir, DU Sir F Rahaman Hall president Hafizur Rahman, BCL planning secretary Rakib Hossain and DU Kabi Jashim Uddin Hall general secretary Shahed Khan.
Rangpur region: BCL office secretary Delwar Hossen Shajada, deputy law secretary Hossain Saddam, member Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, assistant secretary Rakibul Hasan Oitezza and DU Muhsin Hall secretary Mehedi Hasan Sunny.
Mymensingh region: BCL environmental affairs secretary ABM Habibullah Biplob, publication secretary Saif Babu, general secretary of Salimullah Muslim (SM) Hall BCL unit Mehedi Hasan Taposh and president of Jagannath Hall Sanjit Chandra Das.
Sylhet region: BCL mass education affairs secretary Anisul Islam Jewel and Ziaur Rahman Hall BCL president Yusuf Uddin Khan, are also in the discussion table.
Topmost women aspirants are: BCL vice president Chaitali Halder Chaity, deputy international secretary Ishat Kshfia Ira, deputy finance secretary Tilottama Sikder, assistant secretary Shirin Shila, DU Rokeya Hall president Lipi Akhter and Sufia Kamal Hall secretary Sharzia Sharmin Shampa.