Dhaka, Bangladesh
Expansion of cabinet tomorrow

Aspirants despair

Expansion of cabinet tomorrow

One minister, a state minister being sworn in

News Report: Sheikh Hasina, who formed a 47-member cabinet on January 7, mostly with new faces after mustering a hefty majority in the last polls, expands it with one induction and another elevation. Some political stalwarts, mostly those who were dropped this time from the new cabinet, were learnt to be still holding hope for a comeback. They should despair again, sources in the Awami League-led 14-party alliance said. "No news…," said a top leader of the Workers Party of Bangladesh, when contacted. Another named one of their senior leaders who expected a call. Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal or JSD was also left out from the current cabinet formed on January 7, 2019. ''The new ministers will be sworn in on July 13, Saturday, evening at Bangabhaban,'' Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shaiful Alam told reporters Thursday. He indicated that State Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmed will be elevated to full minister and Awami League Women Affairs Secretary Fazilutunnesa Indira inducted as state minister. Media reports in the evening said Imran Ahmed had already received call for taking oath as minister tomorrow (Saturday). Prime Minister Hasina, who is ruling Bangladesh for a rare third consecutive and total fourth term, last gave a mild shakeup to her council of ministers on May 19. The Awami League chief this time left out all political heavyweights in her party and the coalition it leads from the new cabinet formed after the December 30, 2018 general election that produced an overwhelming two-thirds-plus majority for the AL alone and reduced its political archrival, BNP, to a dwarf with only six seats. The cabinet expansion comes incidentally amid reports of some serious crimes, corruption, drug menaces, rapes and so. And analysts speculated that some political heavyweights could be reinstated for effective control over the affairs. A different school of thought, however, is of the opinion that the high command may favour this type of council of ministers with workaholic rookies for a smooth sail in functional tasks. The members are mostly businesspeople-turned politicians and technocrats having practical experiences in respective disciplines. They think the government is in control of the political situation, though the opposition BNP and some other parties are demanding fresh polls on allegation that 'people couldn't vote in the December-30 polls', and hence there's little need for political superiors to be taken in the governing team. Hope against hope-especially the AL allies still cherish aspiration to have their role in government as in combined electoral fray, the sources indicated.

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