BCL votes for young leaders | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 12, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 12, 2011

BCL votes for young leaders

Badiuzzaman Sohag president, Siddique Nazmul Alam general secretary

Bangladesh Chhatra League at its 27th national council yesterday elected Badiuzzaman Sohag the central committee president and Siddique Nazmul Alam the general secretary.
A total of 16 candidates, all aged no more than 29, ran for the two posts.
Sohag won 1,690 votes and his nearest competitor Manwar Hossain Masud secured 521. Nazmul, bagging 1,571 votes, went ahead of his closest contender Shamsul Kabir Rahat who got 546.
Abul Kalam Azad, one of the election commissioners, told The Daily Star about the result today at around 1:30am although the pro-Awami League student organisation was yet to officially announce it.
Later, immediate past and newly elected central leaders of the pro-Awami League student body selected Mehedi Hasan Mollah the president of its Dhaka University unit and Umar Sharif the general secretary.
Yesterday, the central committee election was held from 2:00pm to 8:30pm at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre under supervision of AL leaders Obaidul Quader, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and AFM Bahauddin Nasim.
Around 2,400 councillors from 87 organisational units cast their votes in a transparent ballot box to choose the president and the general secretary for the next two years.
Although unofficial, two panels -- one led by Sohag and Nazmul and the other by Masud and Rahat -- were considered major contenders for the posts.
Former BCL president Liaqat Sikder was backing Sohag and Nazmul, while Masud-Rahat panel was blessed by outgoing president Mahmud Hasan Ripon, sources say.
Several thousand Chhatra league activists started joining the council from early morning at the council venue. They chanted slogans in favour of their favourites throughout the day.
The candidates were busy begging votes from the councillors.
"I am happy to get the opportunity to elect my leaders through direct vote. I hope the new leadership will build the organisation based on Bangabandhu's ideology,” Rakib Sarkar, a councillor from Gazipur district unit BCL, told The Daily Star.
Talking to reporters, Obaidul Quader, also a presidium member of AL, said the result would be announced shortly after the completion of vote count last night. He said the election was conducted in the most transparent way.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday inaugurated the two-day council of the organisation that was once her party's student wing.
The last council was held in April 2006 and this is the second time in a row the 29-year age bar is imposed to ensure that none but students lead the student organisation.
And yesterday was the third time it went to voting.
Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, was strict about the age limit despite repeated request from a section of former BCL and current AL leaders for an extension.
She rather instructed Chhatra League to fix maximum age of a leader at 27 years at its next council and 25 years after that.

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