The four leaders sat with senior Chhatra League leaders, including the president and general secretary of the central unit and other leaders at Dhaka University to select a panel, but have yet to make a decision
In the 48 years after independence, the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) has only once won the Dhaka University Central Student Union (Ducsu) elections.
Now, after 29 long years the Ducsu will yet again elect a vice-president and general secretary (as the university vice-chancellor is the de facto president) from the student body. But the age cap and lack of unanimous support has made it excruciatingly difficult to pick front runners in the polls.
After a third straight sweeping victory in the national polls, the Awami League has set its sights on securing the Ducsu for its student wing, but has yet to select who will be the standard-bearers of the party as Chhatra League candidates in the Ducsu polls set for March 11.
Ruling party General Secretary Obaidul Quader told the Dhaka Tribune that the Awami League has appointed four central leaders to select the candidates: Joint General Secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, and Central Working Committee Executive Member Mohammad Aktaruzzaman–.
The selectors’ main concern is finding candidates under 30 years of age who are also unanimously popular among students from all corners of Bangladesh.
This concern stems from the fact that there are no individual candidates who appeal to voters from all regions unanimously. While some are more popular among students from northern Bangladesh, others enjoy more support from students in southern Bangladesh.
He also discussed the prospect of allied factions: “If the opposition forms alliances, then the Chhatra League will form alliances with like-minded student organizations.”
One of the leaders, on condition of anonymity, confided to the Dhaka Tribune that although Awami League is very optimistic about winning the polls, it has yet to find suitable candidates for vice president and general secretary, as well as for the halls.
When contacted, Abdur Rahman refused to comment on the state of Chhatra League candidates or when their names will be announced. But he did say that the Awami League is doing whatever it can to ensure victory.
According to Chhatra League sources, the full committees in DU and hall units are also a cause of concern. The Chhatra League is also aware of the difficulties in selecting candidates, and remain tense until things become clearer.
A former Chhatra League vice-president said that any candidates nominated for the vice-president and general secretary positions in the Ducsu polls may not be able to secure voters from all regions. Hence, a measured approach is required.