Dhaka – BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia inaugurated her party’s sixth national council in Dhaka amid a festive atmosphere in the city on Saturday morning.
Khaleda opened the council by hoisting the national flag at 10:48 am at Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh. She also released a bunch of balloons and and some pigeons.
The inaugural session started through recitation of verses from the holy Quran.
Around 30,000 grassroots level leaders, councillors, and 8,000 delegates of BNP gathered at the council venue which was decked out with flags, streamers and flowers, posters containing council theme, slogans and logo.
The session will end with the speech of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, to be followed by lunch.
The second and important session of the council will start at 3 pm.
The party is holding the national council with the theme ‘We’ll must Free Democracy’.
Senior leaders and grassroots activists expect a ‘magical overhaul’ of the party’s executive committee and standing committee, and some major amendments to the party charter to make it a stronger political organisation for waging a fresh movement to ‘restore’ democracy in the country.
Khaleda Zia will address the inaugural session as the chief guest.
BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, now in London, is likely to address the council through videoconferencing.
The slogan of the council is “Corruption and Misrule will Surely Come to an End, Bangladesh will be a Democratic Country”.
The party’s council logo contains the symbol of the Liberation War and the National Mausoleum, red and green flag and BNP’s electoral symbol — the sheaf of paddy.
As Khaleda and Tarique have already been elected party chairperson and senior vice chairman unchallenged respectively, the councillors will now choose party secretary general, other leaders and approve a set of proposals for BNP’s constitution amendment.
Party insiders, however, said the councillors will empower Khaleda to pick the other office-bearers and members for the national executive and standing committees.
They said the BNP chief can only announce the name of the party’s new secretary general at the council while she may take time to announce the names of new central committee and standing committee members.
A number of party senior leaders said it is almost certain that current BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir will be made full-fledged secretary general at the council.
They also said their fresh executive committee and standing committee will be formed with young, active, brave, dedicated, popular, tested and competent party leaders at the council.
The party leaders also hinted that the executive committee may be increased to a 501-member one from 386.
The BNP leaders said a good number of leaders close to Tarique and those who remained very active in the pervious movement will be rewarded while many others who played an inactive role during the movement may be dropped from the new committees or given unimportant posts.
Earlier on Thursday night, the party standing committee at a marathon meeting at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office approved different proposals for party’s charter amendment.
The approved proposals will be placed for the session of the party councillors.
A party standing committee member, preferring anonymity, said the councillors may pass various proposals, including forming subcommittees in different sectors, increasing the number of party vice-chairman’s post, the number of organising secretaries, specifying the responsibility of party senior vice chairman and party’s stance against militancy and violence against minority communities. – UNB and News Desk