The 21st triennial national council-2019 of Bangladesh Awami League kicked off amid much enthusiasm and festivity at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on Friday afternoon.
AL President Sheikh Hasina, also the Prime Minister, inaugurated the two-day council of the country’s oldest political party at 3:05pm.
Sheikh Hasina launched the council by hoisting the national flag and the party flag, and the release of pigeons and balloons.
Hasina hoisted the national flag while AL general secretary Obaidul Quader raised the party flag at the Suhrawardy Udyan where Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his historic March 7 Speech, and the Pakistani occupation forces surrendered on December 16, 1971.
Later, a cultural programme began with the presentation of the council’s theme song by a youthful ensemble.
Obaidul Quader will place the report of the general secretary while organising secretaries will place reports of eight divisions at the inaugural session after adopting obituary references.
Some 15,000 councillors and delegates are taking part in the council. Leaders of other political parties and representatives of various professions also joined the inaugural session of the council.
The main stage of the council has been shaped like a boat, the electoral symbol of the party. The digital stage looks like a big boat floating in the mighty Padma River.
The entire Suhrawardy Udyan wore a festive look with the presence of huge party councillors, delegates, party leaders and activists in the council and display of banners and festoons highlighting the government’s major successes and development projects around the venue.
The council is being streamed through 28 LED screens at the venue.
The council session will be held at the Institute of Engineers on Saturday to elect the next committee of the ruling party for a three-year term. Some 7,500 councillors from across the country will attend the council session.
Sheikh Hasina will remain as the party’s president for the ninth straight terms as there is still no alternative to her, said party sources.
They also hinted that Obaidul Quader will also remain as AL general secretary for the second consecutive term.
At the 21st council, the number of women in AL central committee will increase from the existing 15 as the Representation of the People Order 1972 stipulates that all registered political parties have to increase the proportion of female representation in their committees to 33 percent by 2020.
Senior leaders who will get posts in the government are most unlikely to get the vital posts of the party, the sources said.
The number of AL Advisory council members has already increased to 41 from 51.
The previous council held in October 2016 elected Sheikh Hasina as the party president and Obaidul Quader as its general secretary in the 81-member central working committee of Awami League.
Sheikh Hasina has been in the helm of Awami League for the last 38 years (since 1981), which was founded at Rose Garden in Dhaka on June 23, 1949.