Council after 18 years amid bitter bickering

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Ctg Mahila AL

Council after 18 years amid bitter bickering


Publication Date: 11 February, 2017

Media: The Independent

Original URL :  Council after 18 years amid bitter bickering

E-paper  URL:  Council after 18 years amid bitter bickering

The council of the Chittagong unit of the Mahila Awami League, the women’s front of the ruling party, is scheduled to be held at a community centre in the port city on February 14. Although the much-awaited council is going to be held after 18 years, no enthusiasm, fervour and interest can be seen among leaders and activists because of internal feud.

Some leaders said most of the party men are unhappy with the present president of the women’s wing, Hasina Mohiuddin, wife of ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury. After Hasina Mohiuddin came into politics, the Chittagong Mahila Awami League became divided. A large number of grassroots-level workers became dejected due to Hasina Mohiuddin’s “rude” behaviour.

On the other hand, the Hasina Mohiuddin group said because of her family image, she has been able to involve many women in party work and run several programmes successfully.
The anti-Hasina Mohiuddin group wants the present vice-president, Nomita Aich, to be president, acting secretary advocate Rehana Begum Ranu to be general secretary, and Tofodi Sengupta and Hasina Mohiuddin to be senior vice- president and vice-president, respectivly. These names were handed over to AL general secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday (Friday).

Hasina Mohiuddin, who wants to be president this time too, has submitted another list of names for the new committee to the party high command. The name of Anjuman Ara has been suggested for the post of secretary.

The last council of the Chittagong Mahila League was held at the city’s Rima Community Centre in 1998. A committee of 71 members—the late Nilufar Kaisar as president, Nomita Aich as vice-president, Tofodi Sengupta as general secretary and advocate Rehana Begum Ranu as office secretary—was declared.

Later, several efforts were made to hold a council, but all went in vain. Finally, February 14 was fixed for the council.

The city AL has two factions — one led by ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and other by AJM Nasir Uddin. Their influence is on the activities of the Mahila Awami League as well.

Nomita Aich, vice-president of the Mahila Awami League, told The Independent: “With some new faces, Hasina Mohiuddin is trying to form a committee. I think leaders who have made sacrifices for the party should be given important posts.”

Nilufar Kaisar was a popular leader due to her gentle nature, she said.  Hasina Mohiuddin joined politics in 2006, when Nilufar was ill. She died in 2008 due to old-age complications.

During 1/11, Hasina Mohiuddin was allegedly inactive, while advocate Rehana Begum Ranu was active as acting general secretary. Several programmes, including “human chain”, were organised by Ranu during the Army-backed caretaker government’s tenure. When the AL came to power after the 2008 election, Hasina Mohiuddin again became active and it was then that the tussle between the two groups began.

Contacted, Ranu told The Independent: “After the grenade attacks of August 21, 2004, the organisation lost momentum. The council was postponed. I was made acting general secretary to carry forward the organisation. I believe the Prime Minister values leaders who have worked for the party during difficult times. I work at the grassroots level and have always remained active—even at critical moments faced by the party.”

Hasina Mohiuddin told The Independent: “I have submitted names for the committee to the party high command. The allegations against me are not true. The Prime Minster will consider the matter. I hope she will give her consent for those working at the grassroots level of the party. Groupism is nothing unusual in a large party like ours.”

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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