Former deputy speaker Ali Ashraf no more
Prof Md Ali Ashraf, a veteran lawmaker of the ruling Awami League, died at a city hospital yesterday.
He was 74.
"Prof Ashraf died around 3:50pm at the city's Square Hospital," his personal assistant Jashim Uddintold The Daily Star.
A freedom fighter, former deputy speaker of parliament and five-time MP, Prof Ashraf is survived by his wife, one son, four daughters and a host of relatives, friends and well-wishers to mourn his death.
He became a lawmaker for the first time from Cumilla-11 in the maiden Jatiya Sangsad election of Bangladesh in 1973.
Later, he was elected MP from Cumilla-7 (Chandina) in 1996 and subsequently re-elected in 2008, 2014 and 2018.
In 2001, he was elected deputy speaker of the seventh parliament.
According to the Jatiya Sangsad website, Prof Ashraf was involved in consultancy, insurance and agro-based business, apart from politics.
He was admitted to Square Hospitals on July 9 with gallbladder stone-related infections and shifted to the Intensive Care Unit on July 11 when his condition deteriorated.
The senior lawmaker had been kept on life support since July 23 following further deterioration in his health.
Prof Ashraf was born in Gollai village under Chandina upazila on November 17, 1947.
He was the chairman of the Committee on Government Assurances, Jatiya Sangsad. Besides, he was also a member of the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure, Committee on Petitions, Standing Committee on Public Accounts Committee and Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance.
He attained his bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Dhaka University in 1967 and 1968 respectively, according to the biography of MPs of the ninth parliament published by the then Jatiya Sangsad.
Prof Ashraf was involved in teaching at different colleges.
After serving as the director in the foreign ministry of Mujibnagar Government in 1971, he was the central finance and planning secretary of AL and Cumilla North District AL president for a long time since 2002.
He was the author of several books in both English and Bengali, including "the ethical standard of parliamentarians" and "disbarments and human security."
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, different ministers, state ministers, distinguished personalities, leaders of different political parties and organisations have expressed deep shock at the demise of the veteran MP.
In separate condolence messages, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said he had played an important and positive role in practising parliamentary democracy in the country.
"We have lost a patriotic people's leader and a soldier of the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the demise of Prof Ali Ashraf," the PM said in her condolence message.