Helena Jahangir loses Awami League post for links to ‘unauthorised’ group

Businesswoman Helena Jahangir has lost her membership of the Awami League’s subcommittee on women’s affairs for her involvement with an unauthorised organisation that claimed to have been seeking an official affiliation with the ruling party.

Helena, a director of the apex trade body FBCCI and chairperson of Joyjatra TV, also identifies herself as the president of the IP TV Owners Association of Bangladesh.  

Her name came up on social media recently as the president of ‘Bangladesh Awami Chakrijibi League’, a group with no official links to the ruling party.

“She is doing whatever she wishes to without realising what would happen. And she is doing these without informing us. I’ve asked our office to send her a letter of removal. We’ve cancelled her membership because she broke the rules,” said Meher Afroz Chumki, the ruling party’s women affairs secretary.

Chumki said they kept Helena on the committee because she is an adviser to the party’s Cumilla District Unit. Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque is involved with Helena’s Joyjatra TV media, according to Chumki.

Helena on Saturday said she did not get the letter from the subcommittee. No one told her about her sacking either, she said. 

‘Chakrijibi League’ claims it has been trying to get the Awami League’s authorisation as an affiliated organisation for two to three years. Awami League leaders said they have no connection with the organisation.

Helena said she was not involved with the organisation directly. It declared her president of the new committee and posted the announcement on Facebook.

Her old photos with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and the late Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad surfaced on social media again.

Helena said on Facebook that she had uploaded the photos herself after taking those at wedding parties.

“I am actually 100 percent businesswoman and the government’s commercially important person (CIP). I entered politics from that position. I have been a soldier of Bangabandhu since childhood. I need to go to events due to my social obligations. Photos don’t carry the political identity of a person.”