Axe may hit more ministers as PM plans major overhaul
Published :Tuesday, 14 July, 2015, Time : 12:00 AM View Count : 34
Media has strongly speculated that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is soon going to crop off several ministers and make other adjustments in her cabinet to reinforce discipline and efficiency -- as well as to punish her corrupt, inept, lethargic and apathetic colleagues. The clean-up drive is intended to improve governance and spruce up her government's image that has faltered on many accounts, including deteriorating law and order, slow pace or lack of justice, excesses by law enforcers and an incriminating system where criminals stay safe or manage to slip out of jail through the cracks of law. The Prime Minister has rightly felt the necessity of plugging the holes as, the media says, she has been 'fed up' with the lackluster attitude and poor approach of several ministers who seem to be more efficient in often offending verbosity than in doing their jobs. Those likely to be dropped or 'fixed' include a few old and frail cabinet members who, ruling Awami League insiders say, will be replaced with honest, energetic and dedicated people. In the process, a couple of Jatiya Party ministers may also be dropped, knowledgeable sources say. Reshuffling the cabinet is quite in line with the need for good governance and healthy democracy. But the sudden use of the 'axe' by the PM is a bit surprising to many - especially as it fell on the AL's 'fine man' Syed Ashraful Islam. Ashraful lost his job as LGRD minister a couple of days ago -- though he remains in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio - that sends a chill down the spines of many others who are known for thriving in 'inaction' and keeping busy in stacking up wealth by corrupt and unlawful means. They drive a caravan of wrongdoers often using pro-AL students and youths to shield their misdeeds. Ashraful, known within and outside AL as a 'perfect gentleman', however, remains cool after his 'disgraceful removal' from his LGRD job, despite being the General Secretary of AL, the number two in the party. He will now focus more on party work and assist the new LGRD Minister Khandaker Musharraf Hussain, now having an additional responsibility along with the Labour and Expatriate Welfare ministry. Sheikh Hasina being ruthless at the 'bad buys' in the government is a move welcomed by many - except for their selfish cronies and lieutenants at arms. The PM made her mark first by sacking former Telephone and Information Technology Minister Abdul latif Siddique, a 'daredevil' AL leader who made insulting remarks about the Muslim religion Islam, Hajj, Tablig and PM's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy in September last year Then fell Syed Ashraf - and now on the 'hooks, are believed to be Relief and Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Maya who was sentenced to imprisonment by the Court for corruption, and Food Minister Quamrul Islam, who is in the middle of a controversy over importing 'uneatable' wheat from Brazil and trying to force people to consume it anyway. Sheikh Hasina, now serving a second consecutive five-year tenure following parliamentary elections held in January 2014, has been stubborn and steadfast in action that she felt is good for the country and its people. Her prime goals are to reduce poverty, improve the economy, establish good governance and set democracy on a firm footing and do away with threats of interference by any undemocratic force. Supporters and critics both agree - though with little variance - that Sheikh Hasina has fared well towards achieving her goals - including making Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021, the 50th anniversary of the country's independence from Pakistan in 1971. But she also feels the 'bugs' in her government are slowing down the process. As such, she has decided to clear them off, the sooner the better. But the questions remains whether by sacking the 'offending ministers' is she publicly admitting sheltering the corrupt and inefficient so long in her own fold. But this is sometimes unavoidable to keep the party intact, united and avoid internal glitches. Sheikh Hasina has proven efficient in her tasks, never relenting where tough decisions are needed and being capable of taking control of apparently 'thorny and critical' issues. She is honest, appreciates good work and never hesitates to deal harshly with those who deserve it. She has been trying to achieve the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, her father and the Father of the Nation, to make Bangladesh a 'golden country', Sonar Bangla. We could have gone extra miles along that course by now had the opposition parties, especially the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, not tried to halt the march with their relentless violent activities. But their designs have largely failed due to lack of popular support.