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Hasina leads 49-member cabinet

29 ministers, 17 state ministers, two deputies sworn in

Mustafizur Rahman

Awami League president Sheikh Hasina on Sunday was sworn in as prime minister of the AL-led coalition government for the second consecutive term after securing an absolute majority in the controversial 10th parliamentary polls boycotted by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led 18-party alliance.
A 49-member new cabinet comprising 29 ministers, 17 state ministers and two deputy ministers took oath of office at Bangabhaban at 3:30pm before the expiry of the 9th parliament on January 24 amidst confusions over whether the constitution allowed it. 
President Abdul Hamid administered the swearing-in of the ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban at a simple ceremony.
Hasina becomes the prime minister for the third time since 1996.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by, among others, former president and Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad, foreign diplomats, Supreme Court judges, politicians, chiefs of the three services, lawmakers and senior government officials.
Talking to journalists after taking the oath, the prime minister confidently said, ‘Sheikh Hasina does not give in to any pressure—be it national or international.’
Asked about the negative reactions from international community to the January 5 polls, Hasina said that the global community would recognise the national elections.
In the face of allegations of corruption against many of her old cabinet colleagues, Sheikh Hasina picked up some young politicians to constitute her new cabinet.
Former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was invited, but did not attend the ceremony.
Among the old figures, finance minister AMA Muhith, agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury, LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam, expatriates’ welfare minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossian, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, communications minister Obaidul Quader, shipping minister Shajahan Khan, railways minister Mujibul Haque, information minister Hasanul Haq Inu, state minister for social welfare Promode Mankin and state minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroz retained their previous  portfolios.
Works minister Tofail Ahmed has been given the portfolio of commerce, land minister Amir Hossain Amu industries ministry, jute minister Abdul Latif Siddique posts and telecommunications and information & communications technology ministries, telecommunications minister Rashed Khan Menon has been given the civil aviation ministry, state minister for law Quamrul Islam has been made food minister and state minister for land Mostafizur Rahman has been made primary and mass education minister while former state minister for science and technology Yeafesh Osman has been given the same ministry.  
Among the new figures from AL, Mohammad Nasim has been given health ministry, Matiur Rahman religious affairs ministry, engineer Musharraf Hossain works ministry, AKM  Mozammel Haque liberation war affairs ministry, Mohammad Sayedul Haque  fisheries ministry, Muhammad Emajuddin Pramanik jute ministry, Anisul Huq law ministry, Mofazzel Hossain Chowdhury disaster management ministry, AHM Mustafa Kamal planning ministry, Asaduzzaman Noor cultural affairs ministry, Syed Mohsin Ali social welfare ministry and Shamsur Rahman Sharif has been given the land ministry.
MA Mannan has been made state minister for finance, Mirza Azam state minister for jute, Bir Bahadur state minister for Chittagong Hill Tracks affairs, Narayan Chandra Chanda state minister for fisheries, Biren Sikder state minister for sports,  Asaduzzaman Khan state minister for home, Saifuzzaman Chowdhury state minister for land, Ismat Ara  Sadeque state minister for primary and mass education, Md Shahriar Alam state minister for foreign affairs, Jahid Malek state minister for health and Nasrul Hamid state minister for power division and Zunaid Ahmed Palak has been made state minister for information and communications technology.
Jatiya Party-JP chairman Anwar Hossain has been given the portfolio of environment ministry, the Ershad-led Jatiya Party’s Anisul Islam Mahmud has been made water resources minister and Md Mashiur Rahman Ranga state minister for rural development and cooperatives and Mujibul Haque (Chunnu) state minister for labour.
AL lawmaker Abdullah Al Islam Jacob has been made deputy minister for water resources and Arif Khan Joy deputy minister for sports. 
The first meeting of the new cabinet is scheduled for Wednesday at the Cabinet Division with Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
After a landslide victory in the 2008 parliamentary elections, Hasina had formed her cabinet initially with 31 members – 23 ministers and eight ministers of state on January 6, 2009.
Cabinet secretary Mohammad Mushrraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Saturday said that the previous cabinet would be dissolved automatically once the new cabinet took the oath of office.
Two hundred and ninety lawmakers elected to the 10th Jatiya Sangsad had, earlier, taken oath with the 9th parliament still in place, causing confusions as most constituencies were now having two lawmakers, according to some experts.
Even before the polling took place, the ruling alliance nominees, mostly from AL, won without contest 153 constituencies in the 300-seat parliament, more than it needed to form the government.
 The Article 123(3) bars an elected MP from assuming office before expiry of previous parliament and Article 148 (2A) makes it mandatory for lawmakers to take oath in three days after publication of the gazette notifications of election results.  
Article 148(3) says, ‘Where under this Constitution a person is required to make an oath before he enters upon an office, he shall be deemed to have entered upon the office immediately after he makes the oath.’

The president, Abdul Hamid, administers the oaths of office to the cabinet members at Bangabhaban in the capital on Sunday as the new government, led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, started its journey. — New Age photo

The president, Abdul Hamid, administers the oaths of office to the cabinet members at Bangabhaban in the capital on Sunday as the new government, led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, started its journey. — New Age photo

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