Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Friday, July 17, 2015, Shraban 2, 1422 BS, Ramadan 29, 1436 Hijr

Ashraf now Public Admin Minister
Staff Correspondent
Published :Friday, 17 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 6
Former Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, also General Secretary of Awami League, has been given the charge of the Ministry of Public Administration.
Cabinet Division on Thursday issued a gazette notification assigning the Minister to the Ministry within a week of removing him from the LGRD Ministry.
Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan signed the notification.
Immediately after his assignment as Public Administration Minister on Thursday, State Minister for Public Administration Ismat Ara Sadique and Senior Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury of the Ministry went to Syed Ashraf's Bailey Road's official residence  on a curtsey call.
They talked with the Minister on various issues during the meeting, sources said.
Earlier, amid the widespread speculations over his removal from the LGRD Ministry following his absence in an ECNEC meeting, Syed Ashraful Islam was made Minister without portfolio.
Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain replaced Syed Ashraf.
There was a rumour of Syed Ashraf's new assignment in the Ministry of Power and Energy Ministry. But finally, he was given the charge of Public Administration Ministry, which was in the hand of the Prime Minister earlier.
According to the ruling party senior leaders, the popularity of Syed Ashraf, in and outside the party, was proven during last seven days, the period he remained as Minister without portfolio.
He had achieved the sympathy of a large number of people, both from his party and outsiders, after his removal from the LGRD Ministry. Amid the widespread rumour of his probable removal or resignation from the Cabinet, he was reassigned.
According to the leaders, despite his absence in the Secretariat office and several important meetings of the government, Syed Ashraf proved his capability of running a Ministry like LGRD free from corruption and irregularities. He had done and monitored his works from the office at his residence.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith also admitted his popularity, capability and honesty and necessity in the ruling party.
Earlier on July 8, the capital Dhaka was rife with rumour that LGED Minister Syed Ashraf had been removed from his job, even raising speculations in the media about what next?
But before the end of the day, the Minister himself and the Cabinet Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan both dismissed the reports as untrue and unfounded.
Cabinet sources said the Prime Minister was "displeased" with Syed Ashraf as he had skipped a meeting of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday.
Syed Ashraf has a record of skipping meetings including those convened by his Ministry as well as national events that usually senior ministers and party leaders routinely attend.
Despite being a Cabinet Minister Syed Ashraf also skipped attending his Ministry office regularly. He attended his Secretariat office hardly 30 days in last seven years of the two consecutive terms of the present government.
The Awami League General Secretary is the son of late Syed Nazrul Islam, acting President of Bangladesh's interim government in 1971. Syed Ashraf was elected AL General Secretary in 2009 after being sworn in as the LGRD Minister.
Earlier, he also served as organising secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League's central committee and President of greater Mymensingh district Chhatra League.
He retained his portfolio after the party returned to power last year. The MP from Kishoreganj-1 constituency, he had also been the General Secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League's Mymensingh unit.
He went to Britain after the killing of four national leaders in 1975 following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Returning home in 1996, he contested the parliamentary election and won. Sheikh Hasina made him a State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism in her first government. He has won all general elections since 1996.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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