AL lawmaker, former deputy speaker Ali Ashraf no more
Veteran politician, freedom fighter and Awami League lawmaker Prof Md Ali Ashraf passed away today while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Dhaka. He was 74.
Prof Ashraf, lawmaker from Cumilla-7 and also former deputy speaker of Jatiya Sangsad, breathed his last around 3:30pm, his son Muntakim Ashraf Titu told journalists.
Prof Ashraf had been suffering from old-age related complications and was on life support since July 23.
He left behind his wife, four daughters, a son and a number of relatives and well-wishers to mourn his demise.
Prof Ashraf, while being was a student of Cumilla Victoria College, started his political career in 1962 by joining Chhatra League.
He contested the parliamentary election in 1970 as an independent candidate but could not win. Later in the 1973 parliamentary election, he was elected as the youngest lawmaker. Since then, Ashraf was elected five times as member of parliament.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mourned Prof Ashraf's demise.
In separate condolence messages, the president and prime minister recollected Prof Ashraf's significant and positive role in practicing parliamentary democracy in the country, and prayed for eternal peace of his departed soul.
Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq, other ministers and state ministers, distinguished personalities, leaders of different political parties and organisations have also expressed deep shock at the demise of the veteran politician.
Prof Ashraf was admitted to Square Hospital on July 9 with gallbladder stone-related infections, Jashim Uddin, personal assistant of Ali Ashraf, told The Daily Star.
He was taken to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit on July 11 as his condition deteriorated.
The senior lawmaker had been kept on life support since July 23 as his health condition deteriorated further.
Born in Gollai village under Chandina upazila on November 17 in 1947, Ali Ashraf graduated in economics and then completed his master's from University of Dhaka in 1967 and 1968 respectively, according to the biographies of MPs of the ninth parliament, published by then Jatiya Sangsad.
Prof Ashraf was the chairman of the JS Committee on Government Assurances, and also a member of the JS Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure, Committee on Petitions, Standing Committee on Public Accounts Committee, and Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance.
He was also involved in teaching at different colleges, and acted as director, Foreign Ministry of Mujibnagar Government in 1971.
He also served as Awami League's finance and planning secretary and was the president of the ruling party's Cumilla North district unit.