Sheikh Hasina injects fresh blood into her new Cabinet
Forty-seven members of a new council of ministers, composed of over two dozens of first-timers, will be swearing on Monday.
In what would be her fourth cabinet, the Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina would lead as prime minister a new government sparing the experiences of many of her old vanguards but definitely and surely infusing it with adequate fresh blood.
In a clear departure from the past practice, the names of 24 ministers, 19 state ministers and three deputy ministers have already been announced yesterday, a day ahead of their oath-taking at Bangabhaban at 3:30 this afternoon.
Never before had the names of new cabinet members been announced,prior to the swearing-in ceremony. Previously, the Cabinet Division had released the final list after the oath-taking ceremony.
Earlier, President Md Abdul Hamid invited Sheikh Hasina to form a new cabinet following her party – Awami League – and its grand alliance’s landslide victory in the December 30 election where it won 288 seats. The Grand Alliance partner Jatiya Party, by now, has made up its mind to play opposition in the 11th parliament with 22 MPs-elect under its disposal.
As the Cabinet Secretary, Mohammad Shafiul Alam, yesterday afternoon announced the names of the lawmakers to be included in the new council of ministers, it immediately generated much interest among people all over the country. They found out that there is no room in the new cabinet for many of the AL heavyweights and seasoned politicians while Hasina has also chosen not inducting anyone from AL’s 14-party alliance partners as ministers, at this stage.
It also took many by surprise that some of the ministers, who were there in Hasina government 2008-14 but got axed during her period in power from 2014 to ‘18, got re-entries this time.
There are as many as 31 new faces (first-timers and also those who were not in the 2014-18 cabinet)in the new cabinet while several heavyweight and senior Awami League leaders were dropped from the list.
The 24 nominated for ministerial jobs are: AKM Mozammel Haque (Liberation War Affairs), Obaidul Quader (Road Transport and Bridges), Md Abdur Razzaque (Agriculture), Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal (Home Affairs), Mohammad Hasan Mahmud (Information), Anisul Haq (Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs), AHM Mustafa Kamal (Planning), Md Tajul Islam (Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives), Dr Dipu Moni (Education), AK Abdul Momen (Foreign Affairs), Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun (Industries), Golam Dastagir Gazi (Textiles and Jute), Zahid Malek (Health and Family Welfare), Sadhan Chandra Majumder (Food), Tipu Munshi (Commerce), Nuruzzaman Ahmed (Social Welfare), SM Rezaul Karim (Housing and Public Works), Md Shahab Uddin (Environment, Forest and Climate Change), Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing (CHT Affairs), Saifuzzaman Chowdhury (Land), Md Nurul Islam Sujan (Railways), Yeafesh Osman (Science and Technology) and Mustafa Jabbar (Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology). The last two mentioned here are technocrats.
State ministers designated 19 are: Kamal Ahmed Majumder (Industries), Imran Ahmad (Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment), Md Zahid Ahsan Russel (Youth and Sports), Nasrul Hamid (Power, Energy and Mineral Resources), Md Ashraf Ali Khan Kashru (Fisheries and Livestock), Begum Monnuzan Sufian (Labour and Employment), Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury (Shipping), Md Zakir Hossain (Primary and Mass Education), Shahriar Alam (Foreign Affairs), Junaid Ahmed Palak (ICT Division), Farhad Hossain (Public Administration), Shawpan Bhattacharjee (LGRD and Cooperatives), Jahid Faruk (Water Resources), Md Murad Hasan (Health and Family Welfare), Sharif Ahmed (Social Welfare), KM Khalid (Cultural Affairs), Md Enamur Rahaman (Disaster Management and Relief), Md Mahbub Ali (Civil Aviation and Tourism) and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah (Religious Affairs- a technocrat).
The three would-be deputy ministers are Begum Habibun Nahar (Environment, Forest and Climate Change), AKM Enamul Haque Shamim (Water Resources) and Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury (Education).
Ministers (2014-18) who were dropped this time
Abul Maal Abdul Muhith(Finance), Amir Hossain Amu(Industries), Tofail Ahmed (Commerce), Begum Matia Chowdhury (Agriculture), Mohammed Nasim (Health and Family Welfare), Khandker Mosharraf Hossain (Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives), Eng. Mosharraf Hossain, (Housing and Public Works), Md. Emaz Uddin Pramanik, (Textiles and Jute), Nurul Islam Nahid(Education), Shajahan Khan (Shipping), Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya (Disaster Management and Relief), Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, (Foreign Affairs) and Asaduzzaman Noor (Cultural Affairs).
State ministers dropped
Mirza Azam (Textiles and Jute), Dr. Biren Sikder (Youth and Sports), Ismat Ara Sadique (Public Administration), Meher Afroze (Women and Children Affairs), Tarana Halim (Information), Muhammad Nazrul Islam (Water Resources),Nuruzzaman Ahmed (Social Welfare) and Kazi Keramat Ali (Technical and Madrasha Education Division).
The previous cabinet, led by Sheikh Hasina, had 32 ministers, 17 ministers of state and two deputy ministers. Four technocrat ministers had resigned from their posts before the election.