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7 November, 2018 12:21:24 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 November, 2018 10:04:11 AM
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Four technocrat ministers resign

PM asks them to step down citing legal obligations
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN, Dhaka
Four technocrat ministers resign

All four technocrat ministers stepped down yesterday, hours after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the ministers appointed on technocrat basis to resign as part of a process to reconstitute the cabinet ahead of the next parliamentary polls. Religious Affairs Minister Motiur Rahman, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam, Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman and Telecom and IT Minister Mustafa Jabbar tendered their respective resignations to Cabinet Division last evening.

Earlier in the day, while presiding over an unscheduled discussion at a weekly cabinet meeting at her office, the prime minister gave the directive to the technocrat ministers citing legal obligations.

“A High Court (HC) verdict mentioned that a caretaker government should not include any unelected person in the cabinet after the announcement of the poll schedule. So, all unelected cabinet members should resign from the current cabinet,” the premier was quoted as saying by a minister preferring anonymity.

According to sources, the prime minister also ordered ministers and lawmakers not to use government vehicles and not to break any protocol after the announcement of polls

schedule. Hasina asserted at the meeting that the present cabinet would act as the election-time government. However, the government’s functions would be reduced after the announcement of the poll schedule, she said.

The sources said the government had thought about downsizing the cabinet and forming a poll-time government before the last national polls. At that time, the government even considered to include some members from the BNP, which had a presence in parliament, in the cabinet.

But there is no representation of the BNP in the present parliament. So, they cannot be included in the poll-time administration, the sources added. Regarding ongoing dialogues with various political parties, the Prime Minister said the ruling party talked to all the political parties regarding the upcoming national polls. There will be no any dialogue after November 7. Such dialogues cannot continue throughout the year, she added.

Several ministers told this correspondent that they would get only one security guard for their personal security during the polls.

The cabinet had a total of 30 ministers, 17 state ministers and two deputy ministers under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said they were prepared to take steps in case of any reshuffle in the present cabinet.

He also said he was yet to be formally informed about any reshuffling the cabinet. The government’s functional activities will continue irrespective of the size of the Cabinet. Even cabinet meetings will also be held on a regular basis, he added.

SR

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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