The Chittagong city unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of ruling Awami League, is running its organizational activities under a committee that has failed to organize a council in the last four years to elect a new panel.
Its leaders have claimed that they could not hold the council due to the national and mayoral elections, countrywide violence and blockade by the BNP-Jamaat alliance, and preoccupations with other pressing organizational matters.
Now, however, the Awami League apparently is taking the reins with its Divisional Organizing Secretary Enamul Haque Shamim holding a meeting with the party’s senior leaders of Chittagong on Wednesday at the Nagar Bhaban of Chittagong City Corporation.
Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury and AJM Nasir Uddin, acting president and general secretary of Awami League Chittagong city unit, Chittagong north General Secretary MA Salam, Chittagong south President Moslem Uddin Ahmed, former Chhatra League leaders Shahzada Mohiuddin and Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Ratan had attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed forming a new committee of Chhatra League’s city unit through the council and fixed February 24 as the tentative date to hold it.
But the Chittagong Chhatra League president and general secretary said that they did not receive any directive from the organization’s central committee to hold the council at the end of next month.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, General Secretary Nurul Azim Rony said the way February 24 was fixed did not conform to the norms as the meeting did not have any representative from Chhatra League’s current leadership, both city unit and central committee.
“We are willing to hold the council any time. But the schedule of the council fixed unilaterally and without having consultation with the student leaders will hamper the organizational unity,” said Rony, who is also known to be a follower of late Awami League leader ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.
Currently, the Chhatra League’s port city chapter has a total of 291 members, who many alleged were accommodated by the incumbent leadership in a bid to please everyone.
The committee, however, was formed with just 24 members on October 30, 2013. Imran Ahmed Imu was made its president and Nurul Azim Rony general secretary.
Later on June 11, 2014, the organization’s Central Executive committee approved a full-fledged 121-member panel.
Earlier on January 6, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader asked the Chhatra League central committee to hold its next council by March.
"I discussed the matter with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and she wants the council to be held by March, the month of independence," Quader said while inaugurating a program marking the 70th founding anniversary of Chhatra League on Dhaka University campus.
Quader, a former president of the student front of the ruling party, also instructed its leaders to hold a Central Executive Committee meeting to fix the date of the council.
Last week, Chhatra League General Secretary SM Jakir Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that the organization’s 29th National Council could be held between March 31 and April 1.