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Update: 13 October, 2019 13:51 PM
Key parties not ready to accept ban on student affiliation

Key parties not ready to accept ban on student affiliation

Political parties in Bangladesh are prohibited to organize any party or affiliate enlisting any student or teacher of any educational institution; any employee or worker of any financial, commercial or industrial enterprise according to the order of (RPO) 90's article 9(B).

If this provision is not met, the Election Commission has the jurisdiction to cancel the registration of the party concerned. But this provision is not effective in reality.  Due to legal obligations, though the affiliates are not mentioned as a collaborative organization, no real change is seen in the practical work. 

The Chhatra League and the Chhatra Dal are still known as the associates of Awami League and BNP respectively. The situation is the same as workers' and professional organizations. Many believe that the blue-and-white division between teachers works contrary to improving the quality and environment of education.

Awami League president is the organizational leader of BCL too. The authority of the key party is not invisible in maintaining the leadership of this student-based organ. Chhatra League central committee president Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and general secretary Golam Rabbani were removed from their posts on the evening of September 14 at a meeting of the Awami League central executive parliament at Ganabhaban for controversial activities.

Al Nahyan Khan Joy and Lekhok Bhattacharya were crowned respectively as acting president and acting general-secretary at the meeting. The Awami League also has to bear the responsibilities for the controversial activities of the BCL.

BNP announced to form a new committee through the council, abolishing the expired committee of the Chhatra Dal on June 3. The validity of this declaration is challenged in court.

The Election Commission (EC), led by Dr ATM Shamsul Huda, sought an explanation through letter regarding the involvement of the political parties with student organizations. 

Citing the reports and public speeches published in the newspaper, Awami League, BNP, and some other parties were urged to express their views on the issue urgently. 

However, after the Shamsul Huda Commission, Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed's Commission took a different stand on this. In 2017, the KM Nurul Huda Commission was called upon by the non-governmental organization named Citizens for good governance (Shujon) to take a proper step against the political parties operating their associates and foreign units violating the law. But it did not respond. KM Nurul Huda's commission was also in a state of isolation, like the Kazi Rakib Commission.

The EC, led by Shamsul Huda, took the initiative to reform the electoral law before the ninth parliamentary elections in 2008. At that time, the Awami League, opposing the proposal to ban allies or alliances in dialogue with the EC, said: "Organs or allied organizations exist  in almost all the developed and democratic countries of the world and the ban is against fundamental rights, especially against the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights."

At that time, the farmers' and workers' Janata League, Jasad (Inu) told EC the same. The Jatiya Party voted to end the tradition of operating organ or alliance by key political parties. The CPB voted in favour of a decision based on the consensus of all parties. Due to the split, the main part of the BNP did not get a chance to participate in the dialogue at that time. 

On the other hand, EC said in favour of making that provision: “Members of these organs and allied organizations have been involved in the unprofessionalism of unparalleled politics, having forgotten their organization's contribution to various national issues before the independence. This situation is disappointing for the future development and growth of the country. The situation has reached such a point that the officials and employees of various government, semi-government and autonomous organizations have also become directly involved with the politics of the country by establishing these organizations. Such behaviour is in complete violation of the code of conduct of public servants. It is necessary to stop the affiliation of organs or allied organizations at the national level to promote healthy politics in the country. ”

Regarding the matter, former Election Commissioner Brigadier General (Retd) M Sakhawat Hossain said: "Our Election Commission took steps to completely stop the tailgating politics of the political parties of the students. We wanted student organizations to have no party identity. But due to dissent from the political parties, we moved away from our strong position at that time."

He also said: "Even then, the conditions of registration of the party in this regard are not met. The key political parties are to pay the price themselves. A BUET student was beaten to death like beating a snake just for posting a status on Facebook - it is in no way acceptable."

"The student organizations are still being operated by the main party. Appointments are also being given to the student body from the main party. They are doing everything they can to be strong in that power. All parties are in the same status," he added.

If the main parties at least fully adhere to the provisions of the student body according to the RPO, the situation can be massively be controlled. The laws may be further tightened if necessary. In this case, the Election Commission can't do anything alone. Important people in society, including political parties, have to make a decision. Now it is the final time to decide on the policy of tailor-made student politics in education."

The eight-point demand made by ordinary students, demonstrating in BUET, on Tuesday to protest the killing of Abrar Fahad, was the first to ban dirty student politics on campus. BUET's student welfare director Professor Mizanur Rahman also said yesterday: "I don't think political parties are necessary for the universities especially in the present context. Student politics should also be banned in BUET campus."

সম্পাদক : ইমদাদুল হক মিলন,
নির্বাহী সম্পাদক : মোস্তফা কামাল,
ইস্ট ওয়েস্ট মিডিয়া গ্রুপ লিমিটেডের পক্ষে ময়নাল হোসেন চৌধুরী কর্তৃক প্লট-৩৭১/এ, ব্লক-ডি, বসুন্ধরা, বারিধারা থেকে প্রকাশিত এবং প্লট-সি/৫২, ব্লক-কে, বসুন্ধরা, খিলক্ষেত, বাড্ডা, ঢাকা-১২২৯ থেকে মুদ্রিত।
বার্তা ও সম্পাদকীয় বিভাগ : বসুন্ধরা আবাসিক এলাকা, প্লট-৩৭১/এ, ব্লক-ডি, বারিধারা, ঢাকা-১২২৯। পিএবিএক্স : ০২৮৪০২৩৭২-৭৫, ফ্যাক্স : ৮৪০২৩৬৮-৯, বিজ্ঞাপন ফোন : ৮১৫৮০১২, ৮৪০২০৪৮, বিজ্ঞাপন ফ্যাক্স : ৮১৫৮৮৬২, ৮৪০২০৪৭। E-mail : [email protected]