Obaidul Quader says they are yet to make any decision about Chhatra League committee
The top brass of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the ruling party student wing, is reportedly facing the wrath of an unhappy Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, because of their uncontrolled lifestyle.
She expressed extreme displeasure regarding them during a joint meeting of the party’s Parliamentary Board and Local Government Nomination Board at Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Saturday, sources said.
According to these sources and media reports, a visibly angry Hasina also ordered that the Chhatra League central committee – which still has a little over 11 months left in its tenure, be dissolved.
The news of the Awami League president’s reported order soon became the talk of the town, with netizens and Chhatra League leaders and activists spiralling out on social media on the issue.
However, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday told reporters that Saturday’s meeting only discussed matters related to the Chhatra League, and no decision was made yet over dissolving its committee.
Sources, who attended the meeting, said that senior leader Tofail Ahmed raised the Chhatra League issues at the meeting, saying the student wing’s leaders’ behavior was tarnishing party image and they should be controlled for the sake of party.
That apparently opened a floodgate of complaints and criticisms from the ruling party leaders — with a current cabinet member and an Awami League Presidium member bashing the top Chhatra League leaders for including civilians in the central committee.
Several other senior leaders also went on to criticize the Chhatra League top brass over a number of issues, including keeping senior leaders waiting at different programs and disrespecting them.
During Saturday’s meeting, the prime minister harshly criticized the two top leaders of Chhatra League over their lifestyle, saying she knew they never wake up before 2pm and were only available at night.
A minister and a Presidium member, wishing anonymity, said the prime minister at one point of the meeting was so furious that she said she would dissolve the Chhatra League central committee.
A joint general secretary of the ruling party also expressed frustration at Saturday’s meeting, saying Chhatra League leaders did not even discuss with local lawmakers and central leaders before forming the committees of other units.
Sources said another joint general secretary also raised the issue of the Chhatra League President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon using VIP protocol during his recent visit to Sylhet.
The senior leader also criticized Shovon and Chhatra League General Secretary Golam Rabbani for their laziness, and pointed out that their controversial activities were tainting the party’s image.
Another Presidium member, wishing anonymity, told Dhaka Tribune that one of the joint secretaries was unhappy with Shovon and Rabbani too as they failed to set up the Kushtia Islamic University unit’s committee as per his instructions and tried to include people in the committee against bribes.
During the meeting, several other leaders, including Obaidul Quader, also pointed out a number of allegations against Chhatra League leaders who took bribes to approve unit committees.
Sources said that many issues, including Chhatra League’s failure to form committees at the Jagannath University and Eden Mohila College and letting in controversial individuals and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Islami Chhatra Shibir in the central committee, were discussed at the meeting.
Allegations of controversial relationships between Shovon and Rabbani and various female Chhatra League leaders and activists were also discussed, sources said.
Both Shovon and Rabbani were unavailable for comments.
No decision yet
Obaidul Quader, a former Chhatra League general secretary, yesterday said that they were yet to make a decision over dissolving the current Chhatra League central committee.
“Chhatra League related issues were only discussed on Saturday. The party chief is outraged about some of them. However, some of their works were praised and they were asked to rectify their mistakes,” he told reporters at the secretariat.
When asked about the prime minister’s order to dissolve the Chhatra League committee, he said he could only confirm that Sheikh Hasina was angry about the activities of the Chhatra League top brass.
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, refused to say anything else before a decision was made in this regard.
When contacted, Awami League Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahman also confirmed the party chief’s displeasure, saying: "She [Hasina] is unhappy with the two top leaders [of Chhatra League]."
However, he too, like Quader, did not comment on the issue of dissolving the Chhatra League committee.