Ref: Setting all speculations over ‘selection’ to rest, H M Badiuzzaman Sohag has been elected Bangladesh Chhatra League president and Siddiqui Nazmul Alam general secretary in the 27th council of the pro-Awami League student organisation.
BCL election commissioners Abul Kalam Azad and Awlad Hossain Titu announced the result around 1:30am on Tuesday after counting the direct votes cast by 25 councilors from every unit of the organisation.
The new president and general secretary are supposed to lead the oldest student organisation of the country for next two years.
Sohag, a post-graduate student of geography and environment at Dhaka University, comes from Bagerhat and was the education secretary of the last committee.
Urdu department third-year student Nazmul was an assistant secretary of the last committee. He comes from Jamalpur.
Sohag got admitted to the university in 2000-2001 session and Nazmul in 2003-2004.
Seven candidates were in the race for the post of president while 16 battled it out for the general secretary’s.
Monwarul Islam Masud, organising secretary of the BCL Dhaka University unit, was Sohag’s nearest rival while Nazmul got the better of Dhaka University’s Jahurul Haque Hall unit president Shamsul Haque Rahat.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who heads Awami League, inaugurated the two-day council amid general strike by Islamic parties on Sunday. Former BCL president Obaidul Quader, now presidium member of Awami League, was given the charge of the council.
A rumour swirled at the venue, Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, that new president and general secretary would be ‘selected’.
But chief election commissioner Awlad Hossain Titu announced the names of the candidates and most of them withdrew nominations around 11am.
The BCL activists chanted slogans throughout the day that “Shekh Hasina’s decision is final” or “Sohag-Nazmul council is the future of Sheikh Hasina”.
The commissioners started counting the votes around 8:30pm. According to commissioner Mizanur Rahman Shahin, there were 2,335 voters in the council.
The last committee, that was also supposed to have a two-year term, was formed in April 2006 with Mahmud Hasan Ripon as president and Mahfuzul Haider Roton as general secretary.
Though the organisation, starting its journey with the fundamentals Education-Peace-Progress on Jan 4 1948, played key roles in language movement in 1952, uprising in 1969, Liberation War in 1971 and anti-dictatorship movement in 1990, it is now widely criticised for crimes like extortion by its leaders.
The last national council was held on April 4, 2006 even though it is supposed to be held every two years.
DHAKA UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE
Meanwhile, Dhaka University’s student of international relations Mehedi Hossain Molla was named the president of the university unit of BCL and Urdu department student Omar Sharif the general secretary of the unit.
Both of them are post-graduate students.