The ruling Awami League has decided to draw a distinction between the party and the government and accordingly dropped 10 ministers and state ministers from its new central working committee.
The decision was made to strengthen the AL, keeping in mind the next national election in 2019.
“We took the decision in principle to separate the government from the party. The prime minister recently informed us of her decision in this regard,” AL Presidium Member Mohammed Nasim told The Daily Star yesterday.
No minister was given secretarial posts in the new committee in line with the decision, added Nasim, also the health minister.
About picking some ministers as presidium members, he said the presidium is the party's policymaking body and its members do not need to work full-time for the AL, unlike its secretaries.
Talking to journalists on Friday, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said three vacant posts of the presidium would be filled after a cabinet reshuffle.
Speaking at the first meeting of the new presidium on Friday night, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, called upon the party men to go door to door to convince people about the government's successes and win their support for the party.
“She is very serious about the next national election and asked us to prepare for it. She also told us to learn from city corporation elections where our candidates were defeated despite the government's massive development work,” a presidium member told this newspaper after the meeting.
MORE NAMES ANNOUNCED
The AL announced all but seven names for its central working committee until yesterday, six days after the party's 20th national council.
It is yet to name three presidium members and international affairs, science and technology affairs and youth and sports affairs secretaries, and deputy office secretary.
Religious Affairs Minister Motiur Rahman, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman have been dropped from the committee.
Motiur was a member, Mustafa Kamal was the finance and planning secretary, Noor the cultural affairs secretary and Yeafesh the science and technology affairs secretary of the immediate past committee.
Besides, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan, State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur U Shei Ching, State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Land Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah have been left out of the committee.
Mannan, Fazle Rabbi, Nasrul, Saifuzzaman and Palak were members and Bir Bahadur was an organising secretary in the previous committee.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Health Minister Mohammed Nasim, Housing and Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain and Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam have retained their posts as presidium members while Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has been inducted into it. Previously, he was the party's education affairs secretary.
Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam continue to be central committee members. Food Minister Qamrul Islam has been included as a committee member.
Although there were speculations that the 81-strong central committee would have young leaders, most of the leaders of the previous committee have been retained.
However, a good number of new faces have been included in the committee as members.
The AL yesterday also announced the names for its 38-member advisory council, the party's think-tank.
Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Suranjit Sengupta were again made advisory council members. The three were dropped from the party's presidium in its 2009 national council allegedly due to their controversial roles during the political changeover in 2007.
On the last day of the AL's national council on Sunday, Hasina and Quader were elected party president and general secretary. The PM on that day announced the names of 21 party office bearers, including 14 presidium members, four joint general secretaries and a treasurer.
On Tuesday, Quader named 22 more office bearers.
The previous committee's relief and social welfare secretary Faridunahar Layli has been made agricultural affairs secretary, while Aminul Islam Amin, member of the previous committee, has been named deputy publicity secretary. Besides, former Chhatra League leader Delowar Hossain has been made forest and environmental affairs secretary.
The 28 members of the new central committee are Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Momtaj Uddin, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Qamrul Islam, Nurul Majid Humayun, Khairuzzaman Liton, Simin Hossain Rimi, Monnujan Sufian, Nurul Islam Thandu, Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, Dipankar Talukder, Badruddin Ahmed Kamran, Aktaruzzaman, SM Kamal Hossain, Mirza Azam, Nazibullah Hiru, Amirul Islam Milon, Rafiqul Islam, Golam Kabir Rabbni Chinu, Reazul Kabir Kawsar, Parvin Jaman Kalpona, Anwar Hossain, Iqbal Hossain Apu, Marina Jahan, Sammi Ahmed, Marufa Akter Popy, Biplob Barua and Ramand Arang. Most of them are former BCL leaders.