The 30th national council of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the students wing of the ruling Awami League (AL), will be held at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital today (Tuesday).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the Awami League, is expected to inaugurate the programme at 10:30 am. Sheikh Hasina is the organisational chief of the BCL.
When asked about the overall preparation of the council, Chhatra League President Al-Nahean Khan Joy said, "We have completed all the preparations for the council. The new committee will be selected as per the decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We have already received applications from the aspiring candidates."
The last council of the BCL was held in May, 2018.
In last July Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and Golam Rabbani were made president and general secretary of the Chhatra League. But on January 4, 2020, Al-Nahean Khan Joy and Lekhak Bhattacharjee were made full-fledged president and general secretary respectively of the organisation.
Earlier on September 14, 2019, they were declared acting president and acting general secretary of BCL soon after the removal of president Rezwanul and general secretary Rabbani from their posts.
Meanwhile, sources in the Awami League and the BCL said that the age limit for the leaders and activists aspiring to get top positions in Bangladesh Chhatra League central committee is likely to be relaxed once again ahead of the biennial council of the pro-Awami League student body.
Two top AL leaders, who are in charge of overseeing the Chhatra League, said they have proposed that a Chhatra League activist not over 30 years of age would become a leader.
BM Mozammel Haque, an organising secretary of the AL, said, "The proposal was sent to our party president for consideration. She will take the final decision."
AL presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak echoed Mozammel's comment.
In 1992, the age bar for Chhatra League members was set at 27 in the organisation’s charter. But before its 26th national council in 2006, Sheikh Hasina, the AL president and also Chhatra League organisational chief, raised the age limit to 29.
Ahead of the last council held in 2018, Sheikh Hasina said a Chhatra League activist, who is not over 29 years can become a member.
In 2020, the current Chhatra League leadership amended the charter according to Sheikh Hasina's 2018 speech, raising the age limit to 29 from 27. But the age bar is likely to be revised again this time.
According to the party insiders, the AL high-ups are considering three factors, upcoming national polls, delayed Chhatra League councils, and a stagnation in organisational activities during the pandemic, for changing the age limit.
"Since the organisational activities of Chhatra League remained stagnant during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the next national election is nearing, we the four leaders of Awami League [tasked with looking after BCL by the AL chief] and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader proposed raising the age limit. The party chief will call the shots," said BM Mozammel.
Those who are leading the race in getting the top positions might be left out if the current age bar [29 years] remains intact.