Bangladesh Awami League, a torchbearer of the country’s glorious history, celebrates its 72nd founding anniversary today with a lone target to revamp the party before next the national elections.
On this day in 1949, Awami League started its journey from the historic Rose Garden in Old Dhaka and led the country’s war of independence in 1971. The party played a strong role in all democratic movements during then Pakistan and later in Bangladesh.During its long journey, Awami League faced numerous obstacles and successfully overcome them. The party has never lost its path thanks to massive public support.
Despite the ongoing cornavirus pandemic, AL leaders and activists have stood by the people with all necessary help as the party was born to serve people and take the country forward.
Though the party under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been in office for the third consecutive term, intra-party feud is weakening its strength, insiders say.
In a recent party meeting, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader urged party leaders and activists to prepare for the next general election left for only two years.
“Everyone should work together, shunning all differences to strengthen the hands of Sheikh Hasina and the party,” he said adding that there is no room for criminals, extortionists, communal forces and controversial persons in the party. Dedicated and tested leaders have to be evaluated for the sake of the party.
The Awami League spokesperson on Tuesday urged all the party leaders and activists to celebrate the party’s founding anniversary on a limited scale by maintaining health guidelines.To mark the day, Awami League will hoist national and party flags atop at its all offices across the country. Party leaders and activists will place wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi 32 at 9:00am.
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina will address a discussion at 4:00pm through videoconferencing from her official residence at Ganabhaban while top leaders of the party will join the videoconferencing from the party central office on Bangabandhu Avenue at Gulistan.
Besides, a delegation of Awami League leaders led by party presidium member Faruk Khan will go to Tungipara in Gopalganj to pay homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at 11:00am.
Usually, Awami League celebrates its founding anniversary through colorful programmes, but the party has decided to celebrate the day digitally and on a limited scale due to the ongoing corona pandemic.
On the eve of the party’s founding anniversary, Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message greeted people as well as leaders and activists of the party.
In its 72-year historic Journey, Awami League led the 1952 Language Movement and fought successfully against exploitation, disparity and violation of basic human rights with a massive public support.
Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and Shamsul Huq were unanimously elected president and general secretary respectively of the new political party that emerged as a rival of then ruling Muslim League.
The newly formed Awami League also elected Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the joint secretary of the party.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came to the leadership of the party through the 1966 council session and became the unparallel and undisputed leader of the Bengali nation.
After the Liberation War in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started work to build Bangladesh as a non-communal and prosperous country.
Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the present government has set a target to turn the country into a peaceful abode in South Asia by establishing good governance and carrying out balanced development.
In its long journey, Awami League saw seven presidents and nine general secretaries while incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been serving the party as president for the longest and highest nine consecutive terms since her election to the position on February 16, 1981.
So far, nine leaders served Awami League as general secretary with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zillur Rahman serving in that position for the highest four terms each.
Bangabandhu became the party president on January 25, 1966 and steered the party for eight years till January 18, 1974.
Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani served the Awami League as the first party chief for seven years from June 23, 1949 to July 27, 1956. Shamshul Haque was elected as general secretary while Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as joint general secretary from the jail.
Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were elected president and general secretary in the Awami League’s second council held in 1953.
Third council of the party was held in 1955 and Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were reelected president and general secretary respectively.
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy served as the acting party president for one year from July 27, 1956 to October 10, 1957.
Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish was elected as acting president and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was elected general secretary for the third time in the party’s fourth council held in 1957.
Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish was elected as president and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was reelected as general secretary for the fourth time in the fifth council of the party held in 1964. The sixth council of the party held in 1966 was a historic one as it endorsed historic 6-point of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was elected Awami League president for the first time and Tajuddin Ahmed was elected general secretary .
The 7th council of the party was held in 1968 and Bangabandhu was in jail in connection with Agartala conspiracy case. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Tajuddin Ahmed were reelected as party’s president and general secretary respectively.
The eighth council of Awami League was held in 1970. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Tajuddin Ahmed were reelected president and general secretary respectively.
The ninth council was held in independent Bangladesh in 1972 and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zillur Rahman were as elected president and general secretary respectively.
AHM Quamaruzzaman and Zillur Rahman were elected as president and general secretary of the party in the 10th council held in 1974.
The 11th council was held in 1977 and Syeda Zohra Tajuddin was elected as the party's convener.
Abdul Malek Ukil and Abdur Razzak were elected as president and general secretary of AL in the 12th council held in 1978.
The 13th council was held on February 14-16 in 1981 and it was a turning point for AL as around 4000 councilors and delegates elected Sheikh Hasina as the party president in her absence while she was in exile. Abdur Razzak was elected as general secretary.
Abdur Razzak resigned from the post in 1982 and Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury became acting general secretary.
Sheikh Hasina and Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury were elected as president and general secretary of the party in the 14th council held in 1987.
Sheikh Hasina and Zillur Rahman were elected as president and general secretary in the 15th council of the part held in 1992.
The 16th council of Awami League was held in 1997. Sheikh Hasina and Zillur Rahman were re-elected president and general secretary of the party respectively.
The 17th council was held in 2002 and Sheikh Hasina and Abdul Jalil were elected as president and general secretary respectively.
Sheikh Hasina and Sayed Ashraful Islam were elected president and general secretary of the party in the 18th council held in 2007.
Both Sheikh Hasina and Sayed Ashraful Islam were reelected president and general secretary respectively in 19th council held in 2012.
The 20th council of the party was held in 2016 and Sheikh Hasina and Obaidul Quader were elected as president and general secretary respectively.
The last 21st council session of the Awami League was held on December 20-21 in 2019 at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan.
Sheikh Hasina and Obaidul Quader were reelected president and general secretary respectively in the council.