Eyeing to end ‘election of compromise’, new front to fight in BGMEA polls

Readymade garment entrepreneurs have opened a new front to contest in the elections to export-focused apparel industry lobby BGMEA.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 11 Jan 2018, 03:39 PM
Updated : 11 Jan 2018, 03:59 PM

Zahangir Alam is heading the new council – Swadhinata Parishad – that seeks to end the culture of “election of compromise”.

The owner of Design and Source Limited announced the formation of the new council at a briefing at a Dhaka hotel on Thursday.

“We’ve formed Swadhinata Council so that the BGMEA committee cannot be formed on compromise without any real election taking plave,” he said.

Siddiqur Rahman, who is heading the BGMEA after being picked up on compromise during the last election to the association, told bdnews24.com he was not objecting to voting.

“The election will be held as per schedule. If someone wants to contest in it, he or she can do so. No one will bar them,” he said.   

According to the schedule announced on Dec 18, the voting will take place on Mar 7 while the deadline to submit nominations is Jan 30.

The RMG entrepreneurs have been electing the BGMEA leaders from two councils - Sammilita Parishad and Forum.

Siddiqur was the Sammilita Parishad candidate in the last election to the association of around 4,500 members in 2015.

“The contestants only reached a compromise. Nothing unfair happened then,” Siddiqur said. 

The term of the BGMEA committee headed by Siddiqur was scheduled to end on Sept 21 last year, but it was extended by six more months as the election did not take place owing to different reasons. 

Swadhinata Parishad Convenor Zahangir said at the news briefing that the BGMEA has turned a ‘stagnant and ineffective’ organisation as it is not getting leaders through elections for a long time.

“The members are deprived of necessary services and being subjected to harassment and negligence. The leaders don’t feel accountable as they don’t need elections,” he added.

He also warned that the BGMEA members would not accept the next committee if it was formed through a compromise.

The other members of the Swadhinata Parishad committee are Mohammad Aminul Islam of Venix Bangladesh, Shahidur Rahman of Nova Apparels, Golam Mowla Chowdhury of Parents Sweater, Omar Faruk of Alliance Apparels, Ayesha Akter of Waymart Apparels, Mahmud Hossain of DK Global Fashions, Ansarul Alam Lincoln of Azra Enterprise, and Humayun Rashid of Olira Fashions.

The former chiefs of the BGMEA have already formed an organisation styled Ex-Presidents’ Forum.

Swadhinata Parishad fears that the Ex-Presidents’ Forum may create the ground for the leaders to get elected on compromise again.

Siddiqur, who is also a member of the Ex-Presidents’ Forum, said, “The members of this forum had been elected president. Their opinions matter. Their decision on the new leadership will be correct.”

Speculations are there that some former chiefs of the association discussed picking up Shahidul Islam of Rupa Garments as next president in December.

The former BGMEA presidents from the Forum panel are Anisur Rahman Sinha, late Annisul Huq and Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez while those from the Sammilta Parishad are Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Atiqul Islam, Mostafa Golam Quddus, Tipu Munshi and Abdus Salam Murshedy.