The two-time former general secretary was succeeded by Obaidul Quader as the latter was elected, for the first time, by the councillors of the Awami League at the party's 20th national council, which ended on Sunday.
Ashraf, son of Syed Nazrul Islam who served as the acting president of Bangladesh in absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the Liberation War in 1971, has been made a presidium member of the party.
Awami League councillors and delegates, who came from around the country to attend the council, expressed satisfaction with the new central committee of the party.
However, speaking with the Dhaka Tribune, they wondered whether Ashraf would succeed Abdul Hamid as the president.
A councillor from Kishorganj, asking not to be named, said he heard that Sheikh Hasina would be re-elected as the party president, Quader would be elected as the general secretary and Ashraf would be made the next president of the country.
“It is 99% certain that Ashraf will be the next president of Bangladesh,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
Shubhash Chandra Joy Dhar, president of Awami League's Kotalipara upazila unit in Gopalganj, said he had also learnt from a reliable source that Ashraf would be the next president of the country.
Several other councillors and delegates also claimed the same.
The incumbent president, Abdul Hamid, became the acting president of the country on March 14, 2013 when then president Zillur Rahman fell ill and later died.
Hamid was elected the 22nd president of Bangladesh on April 22, 2013.
The closing day of the council also saw Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina re-elected as the president of the Awami League for eighth consecutive time.
Around 6,500 councillors attended the council to elect the party's new leadership for the next three years.