Banker or AL leader: Jack of two trades?

Ejaz Ahmad . Rajbari | Update:

He is both a government official and a leader of the ruling party too. Though he is an officer at the Baliakandi upazila branch of Sonali Bank in Rajbari, he spends most of the day in political activity. He can hardly give time to the bank and only goes there to sign papers when needed.

This is Idris Ali Fakir of the village Bongram in Nawabpur union of the upazila. He has been living for the past 10 years or so in Paschimpara of Baliakandi town. He is the president of the upazila unit of the ruling party’s labour organisation Sramik League and a member of the upazila Awami League. He is also the president of the Rajbari Bangabandhu Parishad. He is on the board of educational institutions. Prior to joining Sramik League he had been involved in JSD politics.

Upazila Awami League president Abdul Hannan told Prothom Alo that Idris Ali Fakir attends almost all events of the party and is active in implementing Awami League’s programmes. When asked how he attended these political party meetings while serving as a government official, Hannan said, “Maybe he takes leave from the bank manager.”

General secretary of the upazila Sramik League Abu Tarek said that the upazila Sramik League convener committee was formed in 1995 with Idris Ali Fakir as convener. At a biennial conference in 2004, a 41-member committee was formed and he was made president. There has been no conference since due to various political reasons.

Recently when confronted in the Baliakandi press club area as he emerged from the upazila Awami League extended meeting, Idris unhesitatingly admitted that he had been attending the meeting. About half an hour after that, the chief principal officer of Baliakandi Sonali Bank, Anwar Hossain, was asked whether Idris Ali was at the bank or not. He replied in the affirmative, but fell silent when it was pointed out that Idris was just spotted in the press club area.

Sonali Bank’s regional assistant general manager (AGM) SM Kamal Uddin said, “We are outsiders. He is a local man. He is involved in a political party. There is nothing for me to say.”

Three visits to this Sonali Bank office found Idris Ali absent. Even yesterday, Wednesday, at 10:45am in the morning, he was still not there.

An employee of the bank, on condition of anonymity, said, Idris Ali is an influential local leader of the ruling Awami League. That is why he is not transferred anywhere outside of the upazila. He just comes to office to sign papers. He spends the entire day involved on political and personal work. No officer of the bank dares to complain against him.

Idris Ali told Prothom Alo that he gives relatively less time to the bank due to his political involvement. Problems crop up over bank loans or for political reasons. The bank officers are often at a loss to dealing with many complicated local matters. He looks into these matters and resolves them speedily. He says even though he spends less time in the bank, he makes up for it in this manner.

President of the Rajbari conscious citizens committee Shankar Chandra Sinha said, it is a serious violation of rules to leave office work and spend time in political party programmes instead.

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