Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked Awami League's councillors, gathered in Dhaka for the party's 20th national council, to elect new leadership and relieve her from duty.
"I want to elect a new leader and strengthen the party in my lifetime," Hasina said in her opening speech on the second day of the council at the Institution of Engineers building in city’s Ramna area on Sunday.
Councillors stood up immediately, shouting, "No! No!" Amid the din, some were heard saying they would boycott the vote if Hasina did not stay.
It was an emotional moment for Hasina, who has carried the mantle of Awami League's presidency for 35 years now.
"Awami League is my family. I have given Awami League more time than I have my children. I am over 70 now. It is time for new leaders," she said.
The councillors continued to protest and the party president had difficulty calming them down.
"Please sit down. Let's see what happens in the election. Nevertheless, I want you to elect a new leadership," she said in the end.
Hasina promised the attending party leaders she would continue to work with them even if she leaves her position.
"As long as I live, I will work for Awami League," she said.
Hasina's son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, said to be in contention for a party office, made a cameo appearance on the second day and left soon afterwards.
Although not tipped for any significant position in the party hierarchy, Joy's name has come up several times from the grassroots who want to see him at the helm.
However, political watchers point out that his shortlived appearance at the council venue would probably mean that the son of the party president, who is also the prime minister, would not be getting any party office this term. Some also believe that there could still be last minute twists later in the evening.