6 more given ministerial job
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday appointed six new faces as state ministers expanding her council of ministers formed 18 days ago.
The new state ministers are Advocate Md. Shahjahan Miah, Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan, Advocate Md. Quamrul Islam, Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku, Md. Motahar Hossain and Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak.
The council of ministers now has 24 ministers and 14 state ministers.
President Iajuddin Ahmed administered their oath of office in a simple ceremony in Bangabhaban at 7:10pm. Hasina, Awami League's presidential nominee Zillur Rahman, ministers and civil and military high officials were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
The new state ministers' portfolios are: Advocate Md Shahjahan Miah- Ministry of Religious Affairs, Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan- Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Advocate Md. Quamrul Islam- Parliamentary Affairs under the Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku- Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Md. Motahar Hossain-Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak- Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives
Highly-placed sources in the government said the number of people in the cabinet could exceed 50 as Hasina plans to expand her cabinet after the inaugural session of the ninth parliament. Hasina, also the president of Awami League (AL), is expected to appoint a few more people as her adviser.
She has already appointed six advisers with the rank and status of ministers.
Of the six newly-appointed state ministers, four, except Shahjahan and Motahar, are first-time lawmakers. Interestingly, all six are lawyers and most of them had moved for Hasina when she was detained during the reign of the last caretaker government.
Despite being a first-time lawmaker, Tuku was made state minister as he had defeated Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami in Pabna-1 constituency.
However, Awami Jubo League Chairman Nanak had disappeared in the face of criminal charges after the caretaker government started a crack down on corrupt people and criminals. Nanak had organised a number of programmes demanding the release of Hasina.
A couple of weeks ahead of the December 29 elections, Nanak resurfaced and managed a party ticket for Dhaka-13 constituency.
AL Office Secretary Mannan Khan won in Dhaka-1 constituency, AL acting General Secretary of Dhaka city unit Quamrul Islam won in Dhaka-2 constituency, Shahjahan won in Patuakhali-1 and Motahar in Lalmonirhat-1 constituency.
On January 6, the prime minister formed a 32-member council of ministers, dropping AL stalwarts and almost the entire policy-making presidium from the cabinet.
Hasina made new state ministers in-charge of three out of eight ministries and divisions she held previously.
Official sources said the three state ministers are Advocate Md Shajahan Mia (religious affairs ministry), Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan ((housing and public works ministry) and Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku (power, energy & mineral resources ministry). They will be in-charge of the ministries but the premier will remain at the helm of the ministries.
The prime minister still retains the charge of the Armed Forces Division, Cabinet Division, ministries of establishment, defence and women and children affairs.