Mirza acting, debate spreading within BNP | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 31, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 31, 2011

Mirza acting, debate spreading within BNP


Mirza Fakhrul Islam

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia “assigning” Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to do the job of secretary general of the party created controversy and debate within the party.
Khaleda unilaterally made the decision and conveyed it to Alamgir via a messenger before leaving for Saudi Arabia on March 20.
Some BNP leaders say that Alamgir has been assigned only to carry out routine work of secretary general while others say that he is now the acting secretary general.
The party constitution has no clear provision for acting secretary general or directions on how to carry on party activities in the absence of its secretary general.
On March 23, BNP leaders got involved in a heated debate on this at a joint meeting at its central office.
Meeting sources said Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi introduced Mirza Fakhrul as the secretary general in charge.
Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque vehemently protested it.
Farroque said Alamgir is the acting secretary general as the chairperson asked him to carry out the activities of secretary general and party lawmaker Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annee and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal President Sultan Salahuddin Tuku backed him.
Alamgir, who presided over the meeting, controlled the situation by urging all to discuss things on the agenda, not party posts.
On Thursday during a protest rally in front of Jatiya Press Club, most BNP leaders, including a number of presidents and secretaries general of BNP's front and associate bodies, addressed Alamgir as acting secretary general.
Party insiders, however, said a number of senior leaders, including a few members of the BNP standing committee are not happy with the decision of the chairperson. Some of them already expressed resentment.
Talking to The Daily Star, BNP standing committee member Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah said there is no order to issue as a senior joint secretary general will carry out the activities of secretary general in his absence.
There is no provision for acting secretary general, so the chairperson will appoint someone on her return, he added.
Khaleda is said to be home on April 2 but BNP insiders said she may take time to appoint a new secretary general.
Alamgir told The Daily Star that there is no provision of acting secretary general and the chairperson asked him to carry out the activities of secretary general as the post was vacant due to the death of Khandaker Delwar Hossain.
Khaleda's personal aide Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas conveyed the chairperson's wish to Alamgir before she left.

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