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List of ministers finalised; Khaleda invited to oath-taking ceremony of new cabinet

Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina today will form a new cabinet free of scandal-tainted politicians to win back public trust amid criticism for the January 5 polls, according to her party insiders.  
She will offer a combination of old and new faces -- ministers who performed well during the grand alliance government's tenure and leaders who contributed to the AL.
Some senior leaders close to Hasina said forming of this cabinet will be her one of the first steps to gain support, at home and abroad, for the new government.   
Besides, she would take every measure to better ties with the developed countries that have not endorsed the January 5 election, boycotted by the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance.   
To this end, she might travel to Europe and America.
Hasina will be sworn in as prime minister at 3:30pm today after dissolution of the polls-time cabinet and council of advisers, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan yesterday.
At a press briefing at the Cabinet Division, Musharraf said Hasina handed him over a list of her new ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers and another of her advisers after President Abdul Hamid's approval.


The portfolios would be distributed today, he added.   
Musharraf also said the Cabinet Division invited some 1,000 persons, including BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, to the oath-taking ceremony at the Bangabhaban.
According to sources, the cabinet might be comprised of 48 to 50 members but the number of new advisers could not be known.
The sources say Hasina is likely to choose AL veterans like Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Land Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Industries Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique, former home minister Mohammad Nasim and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Railways Minister Mujubul Haque, jurist Anisul Haque, and ex-state ministers Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Mostafizur Rahman Fizar might also be among her picks.  
Again, AL Presidium Member engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Cultural Affairs Secretary Asaduzzaman Noor, Organising Secretary Bir Bahadur, central committee members Matiur Rahman, MA Mannan, Saifujjaman Chowdhury Jabed and Zunaid Ahmed Palak might get cabinet membership.
The sources add that Awami League lawmakers AKM Mojammel Haque, Syed Mahsin Ali, Narayan Chandra Chanda, Biren Sikder, Shahriar Alam, Abdullah Al Islam Jakob, Simin Hossain Rimi and former national football team captain Arif Khan Joy could get portfolios.  
However, controversial figures like Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam and AL Central Committee Member Nasrul Hamid Bipu could also find places in the council of ministers.
Jatiya Party Presidium Member and Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, PM's Adviser Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, State Minister Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Masiur Rahman Ranga, Workers Party President and Posts and Telecommunications Minister Rashed Khan Menon, JSD President and Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, JP (Manju) Chairman and former communications minister Anwar Hossain Manju are also prospective names.
The lists are subject to last-minute changes, sources said.

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, January 12, 2014

Last modified: 10:12 pm Sunday, January 12, 2014

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