Mixed reaction over Tarique's election | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 09, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 09, 2009

Mixed reaction over Tarique's election

Mid level leaders rushed the decision


It was a move by a group of mid-level leaders that saw Tarique Rahman elected BNP's senior vice-chairman Tuesday, say some party sources.
They, however, acknowledge the national standing committee decided to create the post with Tarique in mind.
In a recorded speech to the national council, Tarique from London said, "I hear about demands being raised about my post and position in BNP. My decision on the matter however will depend on my health condition and the overall situation of the country."
Surprisingly, he was elected senior vice-chairman in a closed-door council session within 10 hours of his address, causing mixed reactions among the party ranks.
Several senior leaders have expressed resentment as they believe the move came from those drawing on Tarique's attention and favour to win for themselves better positions in future committees.
Mid-level and junior leaders however are excited about the decision over Tarique, elder son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, a councillor who was at the closed-door session all along described the lead-up to the much-talked about election.
He said Joint Secretary General Nazrul Islam Khan was placing proposals for amendments to the party charter. When he proposed introducing a senior vice-chairman's post, the councillors approved the motion with huge enthusiasm.
A few moments later, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, another joint secretary general, got onto the podium and said, "Since the post has been created, I'm proposing Tarique Rahman's name as senior vice-chairman."
Thousands of councillors accepted the proposal without question and welcomed it by clapping for a long time.
Afterwards, during the party chief's concluding speech, a number of councillors stood up and said though they have passed the proposal unanimously, they still want a formal decision from her.
"You've [councillors] brought the proposal and again it's you who've supported it. So what else can I say?" an emotional Khaleda replied.
More than 2,500 councillors welcomed her with clapping and chanted slogans in her and Tarique's names.
A few leaders, who were present at Sunday's standing committee meeting, told The Daily Star that Tarique's name did not come up in their discussion over the new post.
They said it caught them by surprise when the proposal to elect Tarique senior vice-chairperson was put forward a few hours after the former prime minister's son announced he had not yet decided when to get involved in party politics again.
Some other sources said that at Sunday's standing committee meeting Khaleda Zia told her colleagues that pressure had been mounting on her to create a new post.
At that point, a joint secretary general who was present at the meeting on invitation proposed creating a co-chairman's post.
But after much deliberation the committee opted to create a post of senior vice-chairman, as a co-chair's post is rare in political parties except those in Pakistan.
Speaking in return for anonymity, a senior leader told The Daily Star, "Tarique holds the future of BNP, and there's no alternative to him. But we could have elected him through a collective process and the standing committee could bring the proposal formally."
He said some mid-level leaders exercised spin control on the situation just to be in favour with Tarique. But now the party is facing criticism that the council was all about electing Tarique Rahman.
A day after the council, party leaders were yesterday busy lobbying for posts in the central executive and standing committees.
The national council has empowered re-elected Chairperson Khaleda Zia to pick the new committees. Khaleda said she would announce the committees within two or three days.
Talking to The Daily Star, a number of BNP leaders hinted that TH Khan, MK Anwar, Tariqul Islam, Sarwari Rahman, Abdullah Al Noman, Rafiqul Islam Mian, Jamir Uddin Sircar, Mirza Abbas and Goyeshwar Chandra Roy may be chosen to be in the standing committee.
As per the amended charter, the standing committee will now consist of 19 members instead of 15.
Meanwhile, speculations were rife among the party men about who would be the new secretary general.
Party sources say incumbent Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Vice-president Tariqul Islam and former state minister Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir are among those in the race for the post.
On the other hand, young leaders like Rizvi Ahmed, Aman Ullah Aman, Moazzem Hossain Alal, Fazlul Haque Milon, Nazimuddin Alam, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annee, Ashraf Uddin Nizam and Md Shahjahan might be rewarded with important positions and portfolios in the executive committee.

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