Bangladesh PM gives new cabinet portfolio to sacked minister

Dhaka, July 16:  Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday re-inducted a trusted lieutenant as the public administration minister, days after sacking him as local government minister amid reports that she was upset with his frequent absence from cabinet meetings.

A cabinet statement said Syed Ashraful Islam, also the general secretary of Awami League was given the portfolio of public administration minister. "Exercising her authority under the Rules of Business, she (Hasina) redistributed his portfolio," it said.

Also read: Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina reshuffles cabinet

Hasina gives sacked min post in cabinet

Hasina relieved Islam of his portfolio as local government minister on July 9 but kept him in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio generating huge speculation.

Media reports earlier said Islam's repeated absence in crucial cabinet government meetings and reports suggesting that he lacked interest in his ministry affairs annoyed Hasina who eventually stripped him off his crucial position in the cabinet last week.

The removal of Islam, however, sparked mixed reactions in the political circle and within Awami League rank as he is regarded for his contribution to the party during its hard times.

He was entrusted with the charge of Awami League General Secretary when central leaders including Hasina was put behind bars during the army-backed 2007-2008 emergency rule.

Islam is a 1971 liberation war veteran and son of acting president of the war time government's president Syed Nazrul Islam, a close associate the Bangladesh's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


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