Same old faces, again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 13, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 13, 2012

Same old faces, again

Frustration grows as AL retains associated body's old leadership

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Anger and frustration ran deep among the rank and file of associated bodies of the ruling Awami League as the Swechchhasebak League retained the leadership in the long-due council held yesterday.
The previous council in 2003 chose AFM Bahauddin Nasim as president and Pankaj Debnath as general secretary for a three-year term. After Nasim became AL organising secretary in 2009, he handed over the charge to Mollah Md Abu Kawser.
Yesterday's council kept Kawser president and Pankaj general secretary for the next term, leaving the aspirants in despair.
According to the constitution of the organisation, new leadership should be chosen in every three years through direct voting by the councillors but this is not the case in reality. The AL high command made the selections this time as it had done previously.
The councillors from 74 district-level units of the Swechchhasebak League, who came to the capital to attend the council, got frustrated with the decision.
Some aspirants spent a huge amount of money to build arches on many streets in Dhaka and put up posters, banners and festoons to draw attention of Awami League leaders ahead of the council.
Many of them went to the extent of lobbing AL high ups for the top posts. But all their efforts went in vain yesterday.
"What is the use of this council after so long when the two are to continue to hold their offices," an aspirant said.
The Daily Star talked to more than 100 leaders and workers of the AL and its associated bodies, who gave similar reactions and expressed resentment.
Anger also spread among the aspirants to the Jubo League top posts to be selected through a council on July 14. The last council of the pro-AL youth body was also held in 2003 when Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Mirza Azam were chosen as chairman and general secretary.
Nanak handed over the charge to Omar Faruk Chowdhury after he had become organising secretary of the AL along with Nasim. Last month, he was promoted to joint general secretary.
AL insiders hinted that no change might happen in the leadership in the Jubo League as well.
Liaqat Sikder, Mamum-Ar-Rashid, Bahadur Bepari, Sheikh Fazlur Rahman Maruf and Iqbalur Rahim are the prospective candidates for the top positions, they said.
Asked about the selection of the leaders in the Swechchhasebak League, Nasim, the founder president of the organisation, told The Daily Star that the motto of this year's council was to bring AL back to power in the next general elections and that was why the experienced ones remained in the positions.
A number of former leaders of the Bangladesh Chhatra League will be given positions in the organisation so they can work with the new leaders to make it vibrant, he added.

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