The ruling Awami League, the country’s oldest political party, has completed its all necessary preparations to hold its 20th council in a festive mood from Saturday.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also the Awami League President, will inaugurate the council at historic Suhrawardy Udyan at 10 am.The capital wore a festive look as roads have been decorated with colorful banners, gates, lights and giant screens. The successes of the Awami League government in various sectors have been highlighted in banners and festoons.The party built a boat-shaped stage at the venue to hold the council.Awami League office secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap said they have completed all the preparations to hold the council with its slogan, ‘Marching on the highway of development – now is the time for Bangladesh to hold its head high’.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have already taken foolproof security measures at Suhrawardy Udyan as well as the entire city so that no unpleasant incident takes place centering the Awami League council.According to a party source, a total of 6570 councilors and 6570 delegates will take part in the council. Leaders of political parties and representatives of various professions will take part in the inaugural session of the council.More than 50 representatives of different political parties from 12 countries are expected to join the council.They include India’s BJP vice president Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe, its Rajya Sabha leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chaterjee, Communist Party of China leader Zheng Xiaosoy, United Russia’s leader Sergey Zheleleznyak, ex-prime minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli, Conservative party of Canada leader Deepak Obhrai, Labor Party of Australia leader Hugh McDermott and Democratic Party of Italy leader Ugo Papi.The ruling party also invited its rival BNP’s chairperson Khaleda Zia and secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to attend the council.Recently, AL national committee approved Tk 2.65 crore as budget for the council from the party’s own fund.Meanwhile, the size the Awami League Central Working Committee will increase with the inclusion of more members through the council. The constitution sub-committee of the party proposed to increase the number to 81 from the existing 73.According to the proposal, the number of presidium members will rise to 19 from the existing 15, while that of joint secretaries to 4 from the existing three. Besides, there will be eight organising secretaries in place of seven and two more members to be inducted in the working committee.Meanwhile, the party leaders are found somewhat tense over their posts and positions in the new committee to be formed through the council.Speculations are running high about the next general secretary of the ruling camp as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to become President of party again.Party insiders said incumbent general secretary Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam will remain in the post or party presidium member and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will replace Ashraf.They also said some leaders will be dropped and some faces will be inducted in the working committee which is dominated by some former leaders of Chhatra League.Awami League sees the next committee very important as the party will contest the next election in 2019 as per constitution under the leadership of the committee.Meanwhile, the party also formed a three-member election commission led by AL advisory council member Yousuf Hossain Humayun to elect new leadership.But in the past it was seen the leadership is formed not through election but through consensus. Party leaders hinted that same system will be followed this time.Prime Minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy will join the council as councilor.The council will be live streamed from the verified page of the ruling party with a view to giving scope to party leaders, activists and others to get connected online with the event.Research wing of the party, Center for Research and Information (CRI), will look after the coverage through the social media. The Party held its last council on December 29, 2012.