New cabinet members on Monday expressed gratitude to prime minister Sheikh Hasina for appointing them as ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers in her new government.
Most of the newly appointed ministers thanked the prime minister in the first meeting of the 47-strong new cabinet that was sworn in on January 7 after the December 30 general elections, largely marred by fraud and flaws.
Chairing the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, Sheikh Hasina warned her colleagues against corruption and asked them to work with utmost sincerity and honesty or lose positions in her cabinet, said a minister.
‘She asked all of us to prove that her decision to induct us in her cabinet was not a wrong one by performing the responsibilities vested in us with utmost sincerity to implement the Awami League’s election pledges,’ the minister told New Age.
He said that the new cabinet members expressed their gratitude to the prime minister for her trust on them.
‘All of you are now under scanner,’ the PM was quoted to have said at the outset of the cabinet meeting.
Ruling Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina has this time picked 31 new faces as her cabinet colleagues in her third consecutive term, dropping most of the seniors.
Asked whether there were any instructions from the prime minister in the first cabinet meeting, cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told a briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat that the PM had warned her cabinet colleagues against corruption, saying that she would follow the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy in this regard.
Citing examples of different cities named after the supreme leaders of the respective countries, new housing and public works minister SM Rezaul Karim proposed the establishment of ‘Bangabandhu City’ at Tongipara in Gopalganj commemorating the birth place of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mijibur Rahman.
Land minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury proposed that the under-construction Karnaphuli Tunnel in Chittagong should also be named after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The cabinet adopted a condolence motion on the death of the former public administration minister and the former general secretary of the ruling Awami League Syed Ashraful Islam.
Ashraf, also son of the 1971 Mujibnagar government’s first acting president and key Liberation War organiser Syed Nazrul Islam, died on January 3 while under treatment at a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand at the age of 67.
The cabinet also approved the president’s draft speech for the inaugural session of the 11th parliament scheduled to begin from January 30.
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