BNP council gets underway

The fifth national council of BNP took off Tuesday morning after a long hiatus of 16 years with party chief Khaleda Zia hoisting the national flag at the conference venue in the capital.

bdnews24.com
Published : 7 Dec 2009, 10:09 PM
Updated : 7 Dec 2009, 10:09 PM
Dhaka, Dec 8 (bdnews24.com) – The fifth national council of BNP took off Tuesday morning after a long hiatus of 16 years with party chief Khaleda Zia hoisting the national flag at the conference venue in the capital.
She arrived at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at around 10:30am.
A four-member delegation of the ruling Awami League, the arch-rival of BNP, led by Ashim Kumar Ukil is attending the inaugural session.
As many as 2,512 councillors, 12,000 delegates from across the country and 3,000 local and foreign guests are attending the council.
Officials and organisers said a three-tier security has been put in place to guard against any violence at the moot.
Party founder late president Ziaur Rahman convened the first council in 1978. Later three BNP councils were held in 1983, 1988 and 1993.
The council is being held to amend the party's constitution as required under the Representation of People Order (2nd amendment).
BNP will have to submit its amended constitution to the Election Commission by January 24, 2010.
Most political parties, including the ruling Awami League, have already submitted their amended party constitutions, but six parties—including BNP—are yet to submit their constitutions.
The programmes of the council include the opening session, a closed-door council session and cultural function.
Only the party councillors will be allowed to attend the closed-door council session.
A pre-recorded statement of BNP senior joint secretary general Tarique Rahman, now in London, will be put on a big screen at the council.
Tarique went to London, with his wife and children, for medical treatment in September 2007, after being granted bail in a number of cases.
He was arrested under emergency rules by the past military-backed caretaker government.
Khaleda Zia was re-elected unopposed the chairperson of BNP as she was the only candidate for the top post.
There was no other contender against Khaleda, who currently holds the chairmanship of the party.
Khaleda was re-elected chairperson of BNP in the party council held in September 1993.
She took over the position of party chairperson in 1983 from the then BNP chairman late Abdus Sattar, when the post was renamed 'chairperson'.
The party will propose to add to its constitution the provision of a number of new posts of senior secretary general, deputy treasurer and indigenous people affairs secretary and one more joint secretary.
BNP vice president Tariqul Islam, who is also the convenor of the constitution reform committee, said on Monday they have received some 40 reform proposals from across the country.
In addition, there are suggestions for expansion of all committees from grassroots union level to central level with a provision for every committee to have at least 30 percent women, he also said.
The highest policy-making forum of the party, the national standing committee, has approved all the proposals after scrutiny.
But the proposals will get the final endorsement at the national council, Islam said.
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher