Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed disappointment after seeing several names of "wrongdoers and infiltrators" were proposed for inclusion in the district, city and upazila committees of the party.
The AL president, also the prime minister, ordered leaders concerned to form committees with tested and dedicated leaders to further strengthen the party at the grassroots.
Names of senior leaders were dropped while people close to local lawmakers and influential local leaders were included in many of the committees, Hasina said, adding that she didn't want the committees to be formed through nepotism, insiders told The Daily Star.
Hasina said these at a meeting of the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, at the Gono Bhaban.
According to party insiders, drafts for at least 20 district committees were submitted at the party president's Dhanmondi office earlier.
The people named in the draft included several leaders accused of corruption and repression against women, and personal staff and close relatives of the district committee president and general secretaries, the insiders added.
At yesterday's meeting, Hasina read out some of the drafts and mentioned the names of some "controversial and tainted individuals", said sources.
She also mentioned that some former presidents, general secretaries and vice-presidents of immediate past committees who have no allegations against them and have been dedicated to the party were dropped. She sent back the drafts and asked those to be reformed according to her guidelines.
She also said committees of some upazilas were announced through press releases rather than holding councils, said meeting insiders.
Only 33 leaders out of 81 were present at yesterday's ALCWC meeting, which was held after almost seven months.
ALCWC leaders who are infected with the coronavirus or have any family members infected with Covid-19 were asked to not attend the meeting. The last ALCWC meeting was held on March 9.
Hasina also asked her party leaders to make the organisations stronger and communicate closely with the general people.
She also asked her party men to be prepared to serve the people as she feared that the Covid-19 situation may worsen during the coming winter, meeting sources said.
The ruling party yesterday formed eight high-powered committees for eight divisions to strengthen the organisational activities of the party.
The AL chief also informed the meeting that 522 leaders and activists of her party died from Covid-19.
In her introductory speech, Hasina said her government has been able to put the coronavirus pandemic under control because different ministries and government organisations, including the health ministry and Directorate General of Health Services, worked sincerely.
"Some people are saying many things regarding the Directorate General of Health Services or health ministry… Whatever I've directed them [to do] on an emergency basis, they have done. They worked properly… That's why we've been able to put coronavirus under control," she said, reports UNB.
She said when directing them to do anything on coronavirus-related issues, she asked that the work be done bypassing government rules as it was urgent to provide medical services to the people.
The prime minister thanked all government organisations, AL and its associated bodies for their coordinated and sincere efforts to help people.