Published:  12:17 AM, 14 January 2018

New front to fight in BGMEA polls

Readymade garment entrepreneurs have opened a new front to contest in the elections to export-focused apparel industry lobby BGMEA. Zahangir Alam is heading the new council - Swadhinata Parishad - that seeks to end the culture of "election of compromise".

The owner of Design and Source Limited announced the formation of the new council at a briefing at a Dhaka hotel on Thursday. "We've formed Swadhinata Council so that the BGMEA committee cannot be formed on compromise without any real election taking plave," he said. Siddiqur Rahman, who is heading the BGMEA after being picked up on compromise during the last election to the association, he was not objecting to voting, reports

"The election will be held as per schedule. If someone wants to contest in it, he or she can do so. No one will bar them," he said. According to the schedule announced on Dec 18, the voting will take place on Mar 7 while the deadline to submit nominations is Jan 30.

The RMG entrepreneurs have been electing the BGMEA leaders from two councils - Sammilita Parishad and Forum.
Siddiqur was the Sammilita Parishad candidate in the last election to the association of around 4,500 members in 2015.

"The contestants only reached a compromise. Nothing unfair happened then," Siddiqur said.  The term of the BGMEA committee headed by Siddiqur was scheduled to end on Sept 21 last year, but it was extended by six more months as the election did not take place owing to different reasons.

Swadhinata Parishad Convenor Zahangir said at the news briefing that the BGMEA has turned a 'stagnant and ineffective' organization as it is not getting leaders through elections for a long time.

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