A rift has emerged within Bangladesh Chhatra League as the present and immediate past leaders are lobbying ruling Awami League leaders for induction of their followers into its full-fledged central committee, likely to be announced soon.
Chhatra League president Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, general secretary Golam Rabbani and its immediate past president Saifur Rahman Sohag and general secretary Zakir Hossain are lobbying the ruling party leaders, mainly former Chhatra League leaders holding powerful positions in the Awami League and Juba League, Chhatra League leaders said.
‘Unfortunately, for the first time the immediate past top leaders are directly interfering in committee formation as the incumbent president and secretary failed to form the full-fledged committee in the past 10 months since the council session, held in May 11-12, 2018,’ said AL environment secretary Delowar Hossain, also former Dhaka University unit Chhatra League president.
‘Taking advantage of the disarray, a syndicate, which had dominated Chhatra League for 15 years, became active to restore its influence although the AL president Sheikh Hasina while nominating Rezwanul and Golam Rabbani as BCL president and secretary promised to end any syndication in BCL,’ he said.
On April 30, 2018, Hasina, also the prime minister, in a meeting with party members said that the Chhatra League leaders would be chosen considering their devotion to the organisation, family background, role during any political crisis, and reports of intelligence agencies.
Two months after the 29th Council session, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader, on behalf of the AL party president, on July 31, 2018 announced Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and Golam Rabbani as the Chhatra League president and general secretary for two years.
He also announced Sanjit Chandra Das and Saddam Hussain as the Dhaka University unit president and general secretary respectively.
Md Ibrahim and Saidur Rahman Hridoy were made president and general secretary of Dhaka metropolitan (north) unit while Mehedi Hasan, and Md Jobayer Ahmed were made president and general secretary of Dhaka metropolitan (south) unit.
The full-fledged committees have, however, yet to be formed.
A rift became evident soon after the announcement of the partial committees as Rezwanul from Kurigram and Golam Rabbani from Madaripur reportedly began region-based polarisation at Dhaka University and other education institutions, Chhatra League leaders said.
Subsequently, Golam Rabbani, Sanjit and Saddam formed a group backed by a ‘syndicate’ of former Chhatra League leaders ahead of the elections to the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union in March, they said.
Rezwanul apparently became cornered after his defeat in DUCSU elections as the president candidate while elected DUCSU general secretary Golam Rabbani, assistant general secretary Saddam and DU unit president Sanjit continued dominating and taking all benefits, including share of extortion, with the help of the ‘syndicate’ formed in 2002, they said.
The Chhatra League leaders said that a stage erected on Dhaka University campus for the celebration of Pahela Baishakh on April 14 were vandalised in a sequel to the rift.
They said that Rezwanul-led group destroyed the stage for not getting share of the donation given to Chhatra League by a private beverage company for organising the two-day programme.
AL leaders said that the incident angered party president Hasina and she asked AL joint secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman and organising secretaries AFM Bahauddin Nasim and BM Mozammel Haque to bring back discipline in Chhatra League immediately by forming full-fledged committees.
Golam Rabbani said that he and Rezwanul recommended names for the central committee in the past week. ‘We can solve the problems created between us for misunderstanding,’ he said.
‘The immediate past leaders also recommended names when we sat with the AL leaders,’ he said.
AL joint secretary Abdur Rahman said that the full-fledged central committee would be announced soon. ‘All problems will be solved with the announcement of the full-fledged committees,’ he said.
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