The government has so far suspended 87 public representatives for alleged corruption in relief distribution among the poor during Covid-19 pandemic.
Of them, 29 are UP chairmen, 52 UP members, one zila parishad member, four municipality councillors and one upazila parishad vice-chairman, said LGRD ministry Public Relations Officer Mahmudul Hasan.
Most of them belong to the ruling Awami League, ministry sources said.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, AL senior presidium member Abdur Razzaque said, "We thought people would not be involved in corruption during this critical time... As we saw that several people belonging to our party did so, the party must take punitive actions against them," said Razzaque, also agriculture minister.
The LGRD ministry on Thursday suspended Rafiqul Islam Malai, chairman of Muriauk Union Parishad in Habiganj, over irregularities and nepotism in preparing list for money disbursement through mobile banking, said the ministry.
In another case, Shafiul Islam Taskir, a member of ward-9 of Rajiura Union Parishad in Habiganj, was suspended for embezzling rice meant for selling to the poor at Tk 10 per kg.
Ruling party high-ups on several occasions warned of stern action against those involved in such activities, but so far, no exemplary action has been taken.
On Tuesday, the ministry suspended a municipal councillor, four UP chairmen and six members over irregularities in cash and relief distribution, and absence at offices.
The UP chairmen are Md Anwarul Haque of Singpur in Nikli upazila and Hazi Md Kajal Bhuiyan of Halimpur under Bajitpur upazila in Kishoreganj, and Md Shahnewaz of Baliatoli under sadar upazila and Humayun Kabir of Noltana of Barguna.
The suspended councillor is Solaiman Babul of ward-6 in Boalkhali municipality of Chattogram.
In the notice, the ministry has also asked the suspended public representatives to explain within 10 days through respective deputy commissioners as to why they should not be removed permanently from their posts.