Major changes in cabinet
MK Alamgir replaces Sahara, Inu gets infoStaff Correspondent
The newly-inducted minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir got the vital portfolio of the ministry of home affairs replacing Sahara Khatun who was given the charge of posts and telecommunications ministry in a major reshuffle of the cabinet on Saturday.
Posts and telecommunications minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has been given the labour and employment ministry.
A gazette notification of the Cabinet Division said new minister Hasanul Haq Inu replaced information minister Abul Kalam Azad who will now look after the cultural affairs ministry.
Former diplomat AH Mahmud Ali has been given the newly-carved disaster management ministry while food and disaster management minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque will be responsible only for the food ministry, which has been separated from disaster management.
Expatriates’ welfare minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossian has been relieved of the responsibility of the labour ministry and communications minister Obailul Quader has similarly been freed of his additional responsibility of the railway ministry which has been given to Mujibul Haque.
, also a former diplomat, has been given the information and communications technology ministry, Omar Faruk Chowdhury has been made state minister for industries and Abdul Hayee state minister for fisheries and livestock ministry.
The reallocation of the portfolios came a day after prime minister Sheikh Hasina had expanded her government inducting five more ministers and two state ministers into her cabinet, 15 months before the Awami League-led administration would serve out its term.
Awami League presidium member Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, whip Mujibul Haque and Mahmud Ali and Mostafa Faruque Mohammed were sworn in as ministers on Thursday while AL lawmakers for Rajshahi-1 Omar Faruk and Jhenaidah-1 Abdul Hayee took oath as state ministers.
All the new ministers and state ministers are lawmakers of the AL-led alliance.
Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed and Workers Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon, who were also offered to take oath as ministers, refused to join the cabinet.
The fourth expansion of Hasina’s cabinet came at a time when the government was passing a difficult time on the home front over allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge project and the latest Sonali Bank-Hallmark financial scam, wherein a minister and a number of the prime minister’s advisers were allegedly involved.
After a landslide victory in the 2008 parliamentary elections, Hasina formed her cabinet with 31 members – 23 ministers and eight ministers of state on January 6, 2009.
In the first expansion of the cabinet, she brought in six new faces as ministers of state on January 24, 2009.
In the second expansion Hasina inducted six more faces – one minister and five ministers of state – into the cabinet on July 31, 2009 and reshuffled 10 portfolios at that time.
The prime minister again expanded her cabinet on November 28, 2011 by inducting two party stalwarts, Suranjit Sengupta and Obaidul Quader, as ministers.
Suranjit, who was given the responsibility of the railways ministry, has been made minister without portfolio following allegations of corruption in the railway recruitment process.
Former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain has recently resigned as information and communications technology minister in the wake of graft allegations raised by World Bank in the Padma Bridge project while Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj resigned as minister of state for home affairs on personal ground.
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