Sohel Taj now resigns as MPMohiuddin Alamgir
Ruling Awami League leader and former state minister for home affairs Tanjim Ahmed, better known as Sohel Taj, on Monday resigned as Member of Parliament, about three years after he had resigned as the junior minister.
Son of Bangladesh’s founding prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed, Sohel Taj sent his letter of resignation to speaker Abdul Hamid.
His personal staff Abu Kawser handed his letter of resignation to the speaker’s private secretary Shamim Ahmed.
Tajudddin Ahmed organised and led Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971 as the prime minister of the provisional government in the absence of the undisputed leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was in Pakistani jail.
In an open letter to his electorate, the people of Kapashia, Sohel Taj said that he had no other option open to him in upholding their honour.
He said that he would very much hope that one day the rule of law would be established in Bangladesh through practise of healthy political culture.
The people of Kapashia, elected him to parliament in December 2008,
Kapashia, now in the district of Gazipur, his ancestral home, also elected Tajuddin Ahmed to parliament.
In 1970, Kapashia was in the district of Dhaka, which has since been split into several districts.
In his four-page open letter issued on Monday, Sohel Taj said, ‘In order to uphold the honour of the people of Kapashia, I had no other alternative.’
He said it was not possible for him to disclose everything for obvious justifiable reasons.
He, however, said, ‘Although there is no possibility of my return to active politics, my last address is Awami League, built on the ideals of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and my father Tajuddin Ahmed.’
Abu Kawser said that he handed in the letter of resignation of Sohel Taj to the speaker’s private secretary Mohammad Shamim.
In the letter, Sohel Taj assigned no reason for his resignation.
‘My electoral constituency is 197, Gazipur 4 (Kapashia). I tender my resignation in accordance with Article 67(2) of Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh,’ reads his resignation letter addressed to the speaker.
Article 67(2) stipulates, ‘A Member of Parliament may resign his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the speaker, and the seat shall become vacant when the writing is received by the speaker or, if the office of speaker is vacant or the speaker is for any reason unable to perform his functions, by the deputy speaker’.
Sohel Taj now lives in the United States with his family.
He also sent a copy of the letter to the cabinet division. His personal staff Abu Kawser handed in the letter to the cabinet division.
Later, deputy speaker Shawkat Ali told reporters, ‘Officially, I do not know anything about resignation of Sohel Taj. But I know it unofficially.’
‘The resignation would become effective after the speaker [Abdul Hamid] gets it. Now, the speaker is abroad. And he would take the decisions of vacating the seat after he returns,’ said Shawkat.
Terming the resignation of Sohel Taj as ‘unfortunate’ the deputy speaker said, ‘A leader like Sohel Taj is needed in politics, but all these are part of politics… the party would overcome it.’
On April 17, in a letter to the cabinet secretary, Tanjim had expressed his surprise at the government not accepting his resignation as the state minister of home in three years since he had resigned.
He also protested against the government continuing to deposit his honorarium and allowances as the state minister in his bank account.
The Cabinet Division said it does not have his letter of his resignation and therefore continues to disburse his pay and perks.
According to the website of the Cabinet Division he was made minister on January 2009 and since August 24, 2010, he has been a state minister without portfolio.
Though offered ministerial protocol, whenever he came to Dhaka, Sohel Taj refused to accept it, leading newspapers reported.
The government of prime minister Sheikh Hasina never cared to clarify its position on the resignation of Sohel Taj.
On May 31, 2009, when Sohel Taj resigned as the state minister for home affairs about five months after the AL led took office, the government stated that prime minister Sheikh Hasina granted him two weeks leave instead of accepting his resignation.
Article 58(1), however, stipulates, ‘The office of a minister other than the prime minister shall become vacant if he resigns from office by placing his resignation in the hands of the prime minister for submission to the president.’
Tajuddin Ahmed led the formation of the provisional government of Bangladesh on April 17, 1971 and led the country to independence.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, elected president of Bangladesh in his absence, return to Dhaka January 10, 1972, after Pakistan set him free from its jail.
On January 12, 1972, Shekh Mujibur Rahman stepped down as the president of the new Republic to become the prime minister for opting to parliamentary system of government.
Tajuddin Ahmed became the finance and planning minister in the cabinet of Sheikh Mujib.
In October 1974, Tajuddin Ahmed resigned as the finance and planning minister.
Syeda Zohra Tajuddin, mother of Shle Taj, is a presidium member of the ruling Awami League.
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