After two days of widespread speculation following his absence in an Ecnec meeting, ruling Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam has been remove from the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry made minister without portfolio.
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain has replaced Syed Ahsraf, according to a gazette notification issued by the Cabinet division on Thursday.
It said Mosharraf will also continue as the Minister of the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry as additional charges.
Exercising the power given under rule 3(1V) of the Rules of Business 1996, the Prime Minister has redistributed the portfolios of the ministers, the concerned notification says.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reportedly expressed her annoyance that Syed Ashraf Hossain failed to attend a meeting of Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday. Insiders said the proceedings of the meeting were delayed for about half an hour giving a toletent consideration to Syed Ashraf Hossain who is a late riser from bed.
At one stage of that meetng the PM reportedly beacme extremely annoyed and decided to remove him from the LGRD Ministry.
Ashraf served as LGRD Minister since AL came to power in 2009. He retained the portfolio when the cabinet was reshuffled following the 15 January 2014 elections which were boycotted by most political parties including the BNP.
Syed Ashraf Hossain has become the second minister without portfolio in the AL government. Another such minister is Suranjitsengupta who did fall from grace since a scandal over alleged misuse of Railway money. -Agencies