A discontent is fuming silently in the ruling Awami League as many Sub-committee Assistant secretaries are allegedly holding another post in the party's associate bodies, which many insiders termed as unfortunate.
They said around 50 such cases of grabbing double positions have been detected in the AL while many eligible and capable aspirants have been sidelined due to internal machination and intrigue, now widespread in the party in power.
"This is unfortunate and unexpected in a party like the Awami League," one insider told The Daily Observer. "They (double role players) cannot do justice to both the positions and thus will end up soon as under-performers," he added.
While there already is "irritation and frustration" among former and incumbent leaders of Chhatra League, Jubo League, Swechchhasebak League and some such, hobnobbing by AL assistant secretaries added a blight to the good name of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's party.
This will only fuel discontent and affect activities in the duplicated responsibilities," political observers said.
It is also alleged that some leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) managed to sneak into the AL sub-committee by hiding their identities, insiders said.
Many of the leaders allegedly involved in the tender manipulation at different "bhabans" such as Shikkha Bhaban, Bidyut Bhaban, Wasa and City Corporations have also been included in the sub-committee. Some others with no political background to qualify have also found their way into the sub-committee blessed by bigwigs including Ministers and MPs, their brothers or sons or relatives of their wives or in-laws.
"Some have been appointed as assistant secretaries in sub-committee just because they are very close to the Abdus Sobhan Golap and the Presidium," an AL central leader told this correspondent, preferring not to be named.
Golap is Office Secretary of Awami League and some of his close associates are monopolising the assistant secretary posts of AL, he alleged. Golap was not available for comment.
AL Constitution gives no specific directive in this regard. A member of the AL Presidium said there is no fixed number of assistant secretary posts. Senior AL leaders say they discouraged assistant secretaries taking over another post. But such advice often falls on deaf ears.
What is so lucrative about such posts? One said, "Money, influence and authority and an opportunity to stay close to the big shots, the PM and people around her."
Though, the AL Office claimed that it nominated assistant secretaries in three phases, in the first phase 66, second phase 83 and third phase 318. But the Office Secretary could not provide the full lists of assistant secretaries. Other political leaders alleged that the number of assistant secretaries could be more than 600 in number.
Meanwhile, according to the AL Constitution, AL will form sub-committees to strengthen and coordinate activities of every secretary-level work. These sub-committees will comprise a chairman, a secretary, not more than five assistant secretaries, expert members, associate president, secretary and members.
But the above clauses have been grossly violated since AL returned to power for the second consecutive term in the January 5 elections. Some sub-committee leaders and members are busy churning money for themselves. They are moving around important ministries lobbying for supply of machineries, tender manipulation, appointment, transfer, posting and allocation. These sorts of activities even disturb the day to day work of the ministers, it is alleged.
However, several central leaders approached by The Daily Observer appeared mysteriously disinterested to comment on this matter.
"Why not you guys ask the Office Secretary and the Presidium who are directly involved with it (appointment of assistant secretaries)?' One central leader quipped.
AL Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul-Alam Hanif suggested 'you better ask' Quader Bhai (AL Presidium member and Minister Obaidul Quader) about the issue.
AL Presidium Member Nuh-Ul-Alam Lenin told this correspondent, "The issue of appointing assistant secretary of the sub-committee was not discussed in the AL Central Working Committee meeting. It is clearly a violation of AL Constitution."
Another central leader alleged that "some assistant secretaries introduce themselves as party's central leaders."
Meanwhile, talking to several leaders of the AL and its associate bodies and party activists, it could be learned that Gazi Mesbah-Ul Alam Shachchu is the Joint General Secretary of Awami Swechchasebok League (ASL), Delwar Hossain Organising Secretary of ASL, Marufa Akter Popy, Vice-president of ASL, Biplob Barua, Assistant International Secretary of ASL, Afzalur Rahman Babu, Vice-president of ASL, Narayan Deb Nath, Sajib and Suruj, members of ASL, among others - all hold posts in Awami League sub-committee as assistant secretaries.
Some of the assistant secretary posts in the sub-committees have been occupied by Jubo League leaders. Among them are Tasvirul Hoq Onu, Organising Secretary of Dhaka City North Jubo League and Shahjada Moharaj, Hemayet Hossain of Jubo League.
Vice President of Krishak League MA Karim and Organising Secretary of Krishak League Asaduzzaman Biplob also hold posts in Awami League sub-committee as assistant secretaries. Similarly, Dhaka City AL Organising Secretary, Shahey Alam Murad and Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad leader, Dr Dipok Das, are also assistant secretaries of Awami League sub-committee.