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Huge expansion in central body likely


The BNP plans to form its national executive and other committees and sub-committees by accommodating over 700 members, thereby doubling the size of the previous committees, said party sources.
The party will amend its constitution to accommodate a larger number of party leaders in its committees, including standing committee, national executive committee, advisory councils and sub-committees based on different ministries, in order to infuse fresh blood along with veteran leaders into different tiers of the party, the sources said.
The party plans to accommodate around 500 new leaders in some 25 sub-committees, which will be formed for the first time in its organisational history. The sub-committee members will enjoy the stature of executive committee members, sources added. Insiders disclosed that the number of the standing committee members would be increased to 21 from 19.
Two advisers’ councils—one for the party chairperson and another for the party—are likely to be formed with 30 members each. The sub-committees will be formed on the basis of different ministries, comprising 15 to 20 members each.
The sub-committees will issue recommendations after monitoring the activities of the respective ministries, when the party is in power. They will also look into the loopholes and mistakes committed by different ministries.
There are around 439 leaders in the existing central committees, including the 37-member BNP chairperson’s advisory council, sources said.
At least two teams, comprising retired military and civil officials, close to senior BNP vice chairman Tarique Rahman, have been working to reorganise the party structure and party constitution ahead of the party national council, which is likely to be held on March 19, said a senior leader, preferring anonymity.
He said the teams had been working since last November on the orders of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.
The leader said some 30 to 40 leaders might be dropped from the existing executive committee and dedicated leaders would be inducted, particularly into the different sub-committees. “Most of the veteran leaders have been retained in the central committees due to the dearth of dedicated leaders. Besides, around 100 leaders will be shifted to different sub-committees from the 365-member executive committee,” he added.
He said the teams would make their recommendations to the constitution affairs sub-committee after the amendment process is completed. After necessary scrutiny, the amendments would be considered at the council.
The veteran leaders, who are relatively inactive in party activities, may be included in the advisory council, instead of keeping them in the standing committee or executive committee.
Sources also said some inconsistencies have been detected in the party’s structure vis-à-vis its constitution. These include the existence of posts for expatriate welfare, information and communication technology (ICT) and climate change, though there was no scope for them in the constitution.
Standing committee member Lt Gen. (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said the drafts of different committees are being prepared ahead of the council.
He expressed his hope that the next committees would be stronger and more dynamic. “The people who are entrusted with different tasks are working to make the council, which is being held after about six years, a success,” he said.
The leader said different aspects of the council, including formation of committees, might come up for discussion at the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.
The BNP plans to hold the party council on March 19 at one of the three places for which they have sought permission.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed, however, said priority would be given to hold the council at Bangabandhu International Conference Center.
“We communicated with the authorities even yesterday, but we haven’t received permission yet,” he added.
Replying to a question, he said the council preparatory committee and other council sub-committees would be announced within a day or two.