Rumi Ahmed : I am sincerely hoping to see Mirza Fakhrul Islam as the new Secretary General of BNP. But I am afraid we may end up seeing Khondokar Delwar Hossain as a status quo. . Mr. Delwar needs to move on. On record is all my praises and support for Delwar when he held BNP during its worst time. But now he needs to move on.

Jyoti Rahman:: The new Secretary General needs to be somebody who:
a. can project youth, vitality, and freshness
b. have a strong enough personality to impose his will on various factions (I presume Khaleda Zia endorsement is given)
c. Can stand up to Tarique Rahman if he repeats past mistakes
d. Doesn’t have personal ambition to challenge Tarique Rahman

tacit: I think BNP should stick with Khondokar Delwar Hossain. He is better than the alternatives (Khondokar Mosharraf, Nazmul Huda). Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is still too young and unseasoned, He needs to be given more administrative responsibility first.

Rumi Ahmed: : tacit, most of previous BNP Secretary Generals were not seasoned politicians. B Chowdhury was a political novice, so was Col Mostafizur Rahman. But when Khaleda Zia herself was a novice, she needed a seasoned politician, hence KM Obaidur Rahman did the job fairly well in helping her rebuild the party. And after that all the Secretary Generals came up from mid rank and file. Salam Talukder, Abdul Manan Bhuiyan are examples. I heard none of the names until they became Scretary General. Mannan Bhuiyan was Krishak Dal president before becoming Secretray General. So is Mr Mirza Alamgir now.

You need a Purnaiya Pandit ( seasoned politician) if the leader in novice. But Khaleda Zia is no longer novice, rather she is one of the most seasoned living politicians in Bangladesh now. She needs someone like young Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of 1950s. Someone young and charismatic, energetic with good negotiating skill, who will keep travelling from thana to thana and organize. He would prevent incidents like that in Chittagong council from happening, he will hardball with Dhaka city committee leaders/ Manikganj district leaders into a consensus committee.

If you ask me, I would have said, Khondokar Delwar Hossain deserved the newly created post of vcxzt senior vice Chairman. Tarique Rahman should have been Joint Secretary for a total of 16 years ( Like all the current Joint SGs are).

Jyoti Rahman: I agree with what you say. I’d also add another thing. BNP had the upper hand in the sec gen face offs during 2001-06. Mannan Bhuiyan did turn out to be a traitor, sure. but he ran rings around Jalil during the media events.
And this media contest is going to be an even more important thing in the coming years. with 20 odd tv channels and a politics-crazy nation, everything the leaders will say will be replayed 100s of time a day. In our political culture, it is extremely unlikely that the TWO NETRIS will face the tv camera in an impromptu manner. that role will fall on the sec gen. And this is where khondoker delwar performs most poorly. But it’s not just him. Other than Moudud (discredited) and Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury (too controversial), I can’t think of any other BNP leader of that generation who will do media well.

tacit: As election 2014 comes closer, Awami League will engage in a multitude of dirty tricks against BNP. The Secretary General (SG) needs to be someone who is a veteran of politics so that he can counter them effectively. If the government of Moeen U Ahmed could not bend KDH, then he is the perfect person to counter Awami League too. The SG also needs to have a reasonably clean image. Khondokar Delwar Hossain (KDH) did some very good work during the language movement, and despite the financial misappropriation of foodstuff from the parliament canteen charges, has a clean image.

BNP should think about appointing a spokesperson. As you said, none of the elder generation can really get their groove on in front of the electronic media. And I include Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury in this category: it’s easy to captivate people when you’re launching ad hominem attacks or making outlandish assertions against people. It’s much harder to pull this stunt off when actually trying to talk sense.

Rumi Ahmed: Thats why KDH need to be the senior counsellor to Khaleda Zia. He needs to help Khaleda Zia counter all the tricks of AL being the senior standing committe member. KDH has also shown that he does not shy away from questioning/ rebuffing Khaleda Zia. We need that kind of figure as senior counsellor AKA senior Vice Chairman.

On the other hand SG need to be in the field, organizing, meeting the media and sending press releases.

Have you seen youtube video of falling paijama of KDH while he was giving a public speech? This man is nearing 80. He needs an indoor job now.

Jyoti Rahman: CTG couldn’t bend KDH because the man has integrity and loyalty. I wouldn’t put it to any particular political acumen.

Also, a spokesperson wouldn’t be sufficient for the media. Nazrul islam khan is a very articulate person, but he has little authority. a spokesperson will be like him. The sec gen will need to be the party’s public face, as well as doing all the fieldwork.

Yes, a young mujib is very much what is needed.
The thing is, mujib to aar gacche dhore na…. 😦

tacit: I haven’t seen the youtube video, but people have mentioned it to me countless times.
Take the SG position away from KDH, and he’ll be about as important in the party as Dr. Gani. Pre 1/11, KDH was this close to losing Manikganj BNP to Harunur Rashid Munnu. I also highly value the fact that KDH can question/stand up to Khaleda Zia. In 2014, Khaleda Zia and BNP will again have to decide how much of AL’s election engineering to abide, and how far it can go as a party before the possibility of another 1/11 arises. It will be invaluable to have KDH around as a voice of reason then, as opposed to all the armchair-warriors who are already counseling KZ to launch andolon.

Perhaps we are thinking of two different roles for the post of SG. I don’t think any future SG will roam Bangladesh and organize the party district by district. That is more the job of joint-SGs like Mizanur Rahman Minu, Abdullah Al Noman, and Goyeshor Chandra Roy. SG needs to sit in Dhaka and play defense, and free up Khaleda Zia as much as possible for having to deal with party disciplinary issues.

Rumi Ahmed: tacit, you are talking about current status quo of using Jt SGs to organize. Let me tell you what are the drawbacks to this.
Jt SGs are higher job aspirants in next council, most want to be SG or at least stading committe member. As a result, a Joint SG prefer to stay in Dhaka near party high command and avoid confronting with mid-level leaders. He needs to keep everybody happy for his aspiration for higher posts.

Exactly this is what happened before this council. Goyeshwar Roy was given responsibility of Chittagong. Goyeshwar preferred to stay back in Dhaka, speak to media as much as possible and avoid confrontations. He wants to be in standing committe and also be the SG.

Noman was assigned Dhaka divn., he himslef wants to be SG. Why he would make animosity with powerful players like Mirza Abbas or Khoka by hardballing with them for Dhaka city committee? He carefully avoided all confrontation, rather spend energy building his base in Chittagong to counter the rise of Amir Khasru.

Mirza Abbas was in charge of Rajshahi. He was so afraid of giving a empty field to Sadeq Hossain Khoka, he never left Dhaka. He also did not want to be involved with Rajshahi local Minu VS anti Minu groups.

In current format, SG is the highest post one can get unless you are Zia family member. So sitting in that post, you have attained your political opus, the main objective then is to run the party well, not pushing personal agenda.

On a different issue, being in standing committe does not make you powerless. Khondokar Mosharraf Hossain(KMH) is one example. He influences Khaleda in all decision making process. Collective, differing voices in Standing committe, like that of KDH, KMH, Goyeshwar Roy, Mirza Abbas, Sadeq HossainKhoka, Moudud Ahmed, Nazrul Islam Khan, SQC, Toriqul Islam, Jamiruddin Sircer, MK Anwar, Tarique Rahman would help Khaleda Zia take the right policy decision. Khaleda Zia has a habit of consulting with Standing committee before all decisions. So I am not afraid that we will be missing the service of KDH. (However I still don’t know who was deciding for BNP during Iajuddin Govt. This decision maker need to be quarantined.)