AL decides to come out of Covid hiatus | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:32 AM, September 03, 2020

AL decides to come out of Covid hiatus

After a lull of organisational activities for about five months amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the ruling Awami League has decided to revive the activities on a limited scale following health safety guidelines.

The decision came at a meeting of the party's secretary-level leaders yesterday at its headquarters on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital, with AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader in the chair. The party has already conveyed the decision to its grassroots.

Speaking at the meeting, Quader asked party leaders to submit by this month the draft lists of full-fledged committees of those units whose councils were held but the full committees were not named.

He also asked the secretary-level leaders to submit names of members for sub-committees by the middle of this month. There would be 35 members for each sub-committee, the AL leader informed the meeting.

Sources said during the discussion on the sub-committee, party joint general secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif and Bahauddin Nasim told the meeting that no person like Mohammad Shahed should be included in any committee.

Shahed, chairman of Regent Hospital, is claimed to be a member of the AL international affairs sub-committee. He is now behind bars on charges of issuing fake Covid-19 testing certificates and illegally collecting money from coronavirus patients.

The two leaders said the sub-committee chairman and member secretary would be held responsible if they included any such person in the committee, said meeting sources.

The meeting also decided that no meeting of any sub-committee would be held and none could claim himself to be a sub-committee member before the committee concerned got approval.

Bahauddin Nasim and AL International Affairs Secretary Shammi Ahmed at the meeting locked into an altercation over the inclusion of Shahed in the International Affairs Sub-committee. Shammi later shifted blame onto committee Chairman Muhammad Zamir, a former ambassador, said meeting sources.


Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government would rebuild Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), Teacher-Student Centre of Dhaka University, Sufia Kamal National Public Library and the National Museum.

Hasina, also the AL president, joined the meeting from the Gono Bhaban through videoconferencing.

The PM gave some directives to her party colleagues about its organisational activities, said sources.

About TSC, she said she and her father had studied at Dhaka University and she has a feeling for it. She said she wants to see the TSC restructured and the worn down dormitories of the university repaired soon.

About the DMCH, Hasina said the hospital is the reminiscence of the Language Movement. She said her government would rebuild the hospital keeping its front intact and it would be a 5,000-bed hospital, said meeting sources.

About the Public Library and the National Museum, the premier said the two institutions would be digitalised with modern technology for the young generation.

"The Public Library has become old enough and it should have a better shape," Hasina was quoted by a party leader as saying.

The AL president also asked her party colleagues to get united and give their best to strengthen the party, to work to fulfill the pledges of her party manifesto and finalise its next course of action.

Recalling the memories of former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, she said Bangladesh has lost a true friend.

Pranab, 84, breathed his last at a hospital in New Delhi on Monday.

At the beginning of the meeting yesterday, the AL general secretary expressed willingness to celebrate the party chief's birthday on September 28 on a limited scale, but Hasina turned down the proposal saying there would be no celebration on that day.


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