Who'll be BNP secy general?
With the BNP's central council likely in March, speculations run rife within the party as to who is going to be its secretary general.
Even though Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who has been the acting secretary general since 2011, is believed to be leading the race, names of at least seven other BNP heavyweights have also popped up as his potential rivals.
The BNP national standing committee in a marathon meeting, chaired by party chief Khaleda Zia, on Saturday night decided to hold the party's long-awaited sixth council in late March.
The highest policymaking forum of the party decided that elections to the chairperson and the senior vice-chairman posts would be held before the council, Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman, a member of the committee, told The Daily Star last night.
"An election commission has already been formed to conduct the elections," he added.
The seventh secretary general of the BNP, founded in 1978, will be elected through the votes of the council delegates, comprising presidents of the party's 75 organisational districts and around 350 members of the national executive committee.
But there will be no election if Fakhrul has no rival in the race, party insiders say.
The BNP now will have to form committees in all the organisational districts before the council. Around 60 of them already have committees, according to the party's central office.
BIG NAMES IN RACE
BNP chairperson's adviser Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury can be a potential rival of Fakhrul as the business leader has blessings of Khaleda's elder son Tarique Rahman, senior vice-chairman of the party, who has been in London since 2008.
Standing Committee Member Tariqul Islam's name has also come up for the secretary general post, mainly for his experience, dedication, and loyalty to the party, according to BNP insiders.
But his health might pull him out of the race, they say.
Tariqul, who has long been suffering from different ailments, on different occasions turned down Khaleda's proposal to take the charge, citing health grounds, claimed BNP sources close to Tariqul.
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, and Nazrul Islam Khan, and vice-chairman Abdullah Al Noman are also being discussed as potential candidates.
A group of BNP leaders and activists has already started campaigning for Mosharraf and Goyeshwar.
However, Fakhrul remains ahead of others in the race for his clean political image, dedication, and loyalty, BNP sources say.
Besides, he has been taking care of the post's responsibilities since Khandaker Delwar, the last secretary general of the BNP, died in 2011.
Fakhrul was not made the secretary general in all these years mainly due to opposition from Tarique Rahman, according to BNP insiders.
The last national council of the BNP was held on December 8, 2009.