Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), the student wing of BNP, is going to elect its top leadership through direct voting after long 37 years of their last council held in 1992.
Sources at BNP said in face of demand of a large number of leaders and activists of BNP and Chhatra Dal, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman has directed the party leaders to form new committee of the student organisation through council sessions and direct voting.The BNP had failed several phases of the anti-government movement against the Awami League government and finally faced the worst defeat in 11th parliament election while its student organization Chhatra Dal could not play any notable role during the movement, the sources added.
“It is a bad side of the politics that the Chhatra Dal could not elect its leadership through council for long which has affected the student organization. If democracy is practised inside any organization then it turns strong,” BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu, also the former president of the JCD, told daily sun.
BNP founder Ziaur Rahman had founded the JCD on 1 January 1979. The JCD had played a strong role in the movement against military dictator Hussain Muhammed Ershad.
The JCD after its foundation got 16 full-fledged committees and five convening committees till 2014. JCD for the last time had elected its president Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and general secretary M Eliyas Ali in 1992. The committee lasted for around four months and later the JCD could not elect its leaders through voting, the JCD sources said.
Talking to the Daily Sun, some leaders of BNP said they are expecting a strong organisational structure of their student organization, with dynamic leadership for the party’s future politics.
“Electing leadership in the council of any organisation is a democratic process. It is part of keeping the organization active. Otherwise, the organization is affected,” Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, also senior joint secretary general of BNP told the daily sun.BNP insiders said the party leaders are facing internal conflict, influence and recommendation of the party’s senior leaders for the inclusion of their own followers in the upcoming committee of the JCD.
Talking to the Daily Sun, some JCD leaders said interference by top BNP leaders, nepotism and giving posts in exchange for money are mainly responsible for weakening the student organisation day by day.
They said the previous committee neither could take to the streets to realise the demands of general students at educational institutions nor they waged a strong movement to realise BNP’s demands.
“It will be better if students elect their leadership. BNP wants that the students will do politics for students. To this end, we are going to hold a council of Chhatra Dal on July 15,” Shamsuzzaman Dudu said.
Mehbub Masum Shanto, joint general secretary of the recently dissolved central committee of the JCD said that nowadays JCD leaders are dependent on BNP leaders for getting their desired posts. “Some central leaders of BNP always try to include their own followers in Chhatra Dal, instead of evaluating performance. After getting posts, those JCD leaders don’t work for the organization,” he added.
Some JCD leaders said they want a strong committee of the student organisation with genuine students, dynamic, dedicated, courageous and comparatively young leaders to strengthen the organization and expect that the new committee of the JCD would be formed without the influence of BNP leaders.
JCD’s last committee had been formed on October 14, 2014, with Rajib Ahsan as its president and Akramul Hasan as general secretary and it was dissolved on June 3 last.
A press release of BNP, signed by Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on June 3, said candidates planning to vie for various posts will have to be primary members, students of any educational institution in Bangladesh, and must have passed SSC and equivalent examinations either 2000 or later on.
After the announcement, a group of leaders have been staging demonstration seeking the withdrawal of age limit since June 11 while they ransacked the BNP Nayapaltan central office. Later, the BNP expelled a dozen of demonstrating leaders of JCD on June 23 for breaching party discipline.
Shamsuzzaman Dudu at a press conference on June 23 said they have taken steps for electing the new student leaders of Chhatra Dal in a democratic manner through holding its council on July 15.
He said they have formed a seven-member election-steering committee, led by ex-JCD leader Khairul Kabir Khokon, five-member scrutiny committee, led by Fazlul Haque Milon, and three-member appellate committee, led by him (Dudu) to successfully elect the new JCD leadership through voting.
Replying to a question, Dudu said the direct election will be held to the posts of the president and the general secretary of JCD. “Married people can’t be candidates as they’re not considered as students.”
He said they will disclose the name of the venue for holding the election within a couple of days.
Later, Convener of JCD election steering committee and chief election commissioner Khairul Kabir Khokon announced the schedule for the election to its new committee.
Khokon said as per the schedule, the nomination papers will be distributed on June 27-28 while those can be submitted on June 29-30. “The nomination papers will be scrutinized on July 1-3 and a draft list of candidates will be published on July 4.”
Khokon said the appeal against any candidate can be made on July 5 while those will be settled the following day. “The final list of candidates will be published on July 7 while the voting will be held on July 15 from 9 am to 3 pm without any break.”