Syed Ashraful Islam has been stripped off his portfolio as LGRD and Cooperatives Minister. According to sources in the Awami League, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today relieved Ashraful, who is the general secretary of the ruling AL. The removal followed several rumours over the past few years that he might be relieved of his portfolio for remaining absent at his office for long.
Today, the PM was displeased as Ashraful skipped the meeting of Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), according to sources. The ECNEC officials placed a proposal for Tk 6,076 crore project under which each lawmaker would get Tk 20 crore over a period of five years for development works in their respective constituencies. As the LGRD minister was not present there to explain the project, the ECNEC officials proposed that the discussion on the topic be postponed.
The PM, who was chairing the meeting, appeared a bit annoyed at that moment. “Why isn’t he here? I will remove him (from his post at LGRD ministry) today,” a source quoted the PM as saying. Ashraf was serving as LGRD minister in his second stint. He was first given the portfolio in 2009. He also served as the state minister for civil aviation and tourism ministry during 1996-2001 AL regime, agencies report.