The Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of ruling Awami League, is yet to hold its central committee council even though the incumbent committee expired eight months ago.
Many Chhatra League leaders have described the delay as a violation of the student organization’s charter, which stipulates that the central committee’s tenure will be two years.
The Saifur Rahman Sohag and SM Jakir Hossain-led 28th committee expired on July 26 last year.
During a rally marking the Chhatra League’s 70th anniversary on January 6, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wanted the council to be held in the month of independence.
A few days later, at an emergency meeting, Sohag and Jakir instructed the central leaders to make preparations for holding the council on March 31-April 1.
Since then, the aspiring leaders and activists of Chhatra League have started lobbying with senior Awami League leaders.
However, after rumours began circulating that the council would be postponed, a faction of Chhatra League central committee leaders and their followers held a procession to demand that it be held on the announced dates.
“The council will be held in time,” Chhatra League President Sohag told the Dhaka Tribune, without mentioning any specific date.
Some activists aspiring for leadership in the next committee alleged that the present committee’s president and general secretary were making attempts to not hold the council, creating unrest at Dhaka University.
In January, they endorsed the students’ protests and tried to tackle it by “rescuing” VC Prof Akhtaruzzaman.
When the most recent council was held on July 25-26 in 2015, the then president HM Bodiuzzaman Sohag and general secretary Siddiqui Nazmul Alam had announced the dates at a press conference on May 8 of the same year.
But the present committee has not taken any such initiative yet.
On March 7, some Chhatra League leaders spread a rumour that the PM had called for holding the council on March 31. However, the following day Chhatra League General Secretary Jakir told the media that the prime minister asked for holding the council “in time”, but not on March 31.
On the same day, Obaidul Quader asked the Chhatra League leaders to take preparation for the council, saying it would he held “on time”.
Awami League Joint Secretary and former Chhatra League general secretary Abdur Rahman said that the Chhatra League council takes place regularly, but is “being delayed a bit...due to unavoidable circumstances”.
He said that the council would be held “soon”.
The Awami League leaders who are assigned to cooperate in the Chhatra League council are Quader, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, AKM Enamul Haque Shamim and Marufa Akter Poppy.