BNP NAT’L COUNCIL : Activists want dedicated leaders at the top, not opportunists

Rashed Ahmed Mitul

Placing competent and dedicated leaders, faithful to the party, into the central committee of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party will be a major challenge for the party during its national council, tentatively scheduled for March 19.
The public works department granted BNP permission to use Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital as venue for its council session, but the party did not as yet get permission from Dhaka Metropolitan Police authority, party sources confirmed.
The challenges also include avoiding ‘undue influence’ of moneyed businessmen-cum-leaders trying to enter the central committee and to extensively accommodate ‘career politicians’ into the national executive committee, the top executive body of the party.
The success of the party in its future endeavours, whether it be elections or anti-government movement, will largely depend on the gravity and quality of the central committee, said some central and grassroots leaders of BNP.
They observed that a qualified and strong central committee, dominated by tested leaders with political background, could create a positive impact in the race in future elections.
The party’s national council, during its session, usually bestows authority upon the party chairperson Khaleda Zia to form the national executive committee instead of electing members through the national council, said a standing committee member.
So things would depend largely on the party chief on whether she picks party loyals for leadership positions ignoring the influence of those surrounding her, recalling the ‘disappointing’ performance of the current ‘jumbo-sized’ executive committee in the past anti-government movement, party leaders said.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on many occasions had stated that dedicated and tested party faithfuls, including young leaders, would be brought into leadership.
Elections to the position of BNP chairperson will be held days before the national council.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told New Age on Wednesday that qualified and dedicated party men, who were active in politics and in movements, would dominate the leadership positions.
He made the remarks when asked about the main challenge in the upcoming council session.
About the influence of moneyed businessmen in the party, Rizvi said this has become not only the local phenomena, but a global phenomenon.
He said politics should remain in the hands of qualified politicians.
BNP assistant law affairs secretary Taimur Alam Khandokar said putting the right person in the right position will be a major challenge in the national council. Otherwise, he said, the party will again face setbacks.
He said positions should be given on the basis of record of performance in the past movement, to save the party from the hands of the opportunists.
Taimur, also Narayanganj district unit president, said a movement would not gather momentum if dedicated and tested party men is not placed in right positions. Party leaders and activists will again become frustrated, he added.
The central committee, through appropriate leaders, will be able to materialise the potential of the popularity of BNP, he observed.
Khagrachhari district BNP president Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan said identifying ‘hypocritical’ leaders who were inactive and yet occupied posts will be a big challenge at the national council.
He said the national executive committee will have to be downsized and made a small-sized committee that has gravitas, esteem and competitiveness, adding that the present 386-member central committee virtually had no quality.

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