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35 former ministers left out of new cabinet

Mohiuddin Alamgir

Thirty-five ministers, including some stalwarts, who had served Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet at different times during her 2009-2013 government, were left out of the new cabinet which was sworn in on Sunday.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and 48 ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers took oath on the day.
Asked about the dropping of some influential figures from the new cabinet, Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, who retained the LGRD ministry in the new cabinet, said the prime minister had relieved
those who had failed to perform their duties properly in the last government.
Eleven members of the immediate past cabinet, which was reorganised on November 18, 2013, ahead of the 10th National Elections, have not found places in the new cabinet. They are – former planning minister AK Khandker, health minister Raushan Ershad, food minister Ramesh Chandra Sen (who earlier also served as water resources minister), commerce minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader,  civil aviation and tourism minister ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader, environment minister Hasan Mahmud, Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs state minister Dipankar Talukdar, state minister for labour Begum Monnujan Sufian, state minister for home affairs Shamsul Haque Tuku and women and children affairs state minister Salma Islam.
Twenty-five cabinet members who had served the past government till November 18, 2013, are also missing from the new cabinet. They are – former minister for law Shafique Ahmed,  posts and telecommunications minister Shahara Khatun, home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, labour and employment minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, land minister Muhammad Rezaul Karim Hira, cultural affairs minister Abul Kalam Azad, social welfare minister Enamul Haque Mostafa Shaheed, industries minister Dilip Barua, civil aviation and tourism minister Muhammad Faruk Khan, food minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, primary and mass education minister Afsarul Ameen, health minister AFM Ruhal Haque, foreign affairs minister Dipu Moni, fisheries and livestock minister Muhammad Abdul Latif Biswas and minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta.
The former state ministers dropped from the new cabinet are – for land Mostafizur Rahman, for liberation war affairs AB Tajul Islam, for youth and sports Ahad Ali Sarker, for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan, for primary and mass education Motahar Hossain, for LGRD and cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak, for religious affairs Shahjahan Miah, for power, energy and mineral resources, Muhammad Enamul Huq, for health and family welfare Mojibur Rahman Fakir and for water resources Mahbubur Rahman.
Sheikh Hasina has picked up some new faces having ‘good image’ to constitute her new cabinet while left many ‘controversial figures,’ said an Awami League organising secretary on Sunday.
Former railways minister Suranjit Sengupta had been widely critricised for his alleged involvement in corruption in railway recruitment after a large amount of money, believed to be bribe money from job seekers, was found in the car of his assistant personal secretary in April 2012. Later Suranjit was made a minister without portfolio.
Raziuddin Ahmed Raju, had hit headlines for his alleged links to the killing of the then Narsingdi municipal mayor Lokman Hossain in November 2011 and Shamsul Haque Tuku who drew criticism over allegations by some quarters that he was involved in the attack on minorities in Pabna in November 2013.
Dipu Moni was widely criticised for her frequent tours abroad during her stint in the foreign ministry. Sahara and Muhiuddin drew criticism for their irresponsible comments. Hasan Mahmud hogged headlines for allocating climate change-related funds project to his area in Chittagong.  
Abdul Latif Biswas drew criticism for working in favour of the AL-supported candidate in Belkuchi upazila in Sirajganj during the local elections.   
Former communications minister Abul Hossain was removed from the cabinet after the World Bank had alleged that he was involved in a ‘corruption conspiracy’ over the Padma Bridge project.
After a landslide victory in the 2008 parliamentary elections, Hasina formed a cabinet of 31 members – 23 ministers and eight ministers of state – on January 6, 2009. In the first expansion of the cabinet, she brought in six new faces as ministers of state on January 24, 2009.
In the second expansion, Hasina inducted six more faces – one minister and five ministers of state – into the cabinet on July 31, 2009 and reshuffled 10 portfolios at that time. In the fourth expansion on November 28, 2011, Hasina inducted two party stalwarts, Suranjit Sengupta and Obaidul Quader, as ministers.
Hasina again expanded her cabinet picking up five more ministers and two state ministers – Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, whip Mujibul Haque and former diplomats AH Mahmud Ali and Mostafa Faruque Mohammed.
On November 18, 2013, Sheikh Hasina reorganised her cabinet by bringing in eight new faces, mostly from the Ershad-led Jatiya Party, turning it into a four-party government ahead of the general elections.

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