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JP ministers skip cabinet meet

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Staff reporter
Jatiya Party (JP) ministers and state ministers skipped the weekly cabinet meeting held on Monday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The Jatiya Party (JP) ministers are- Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister ABM Ruhul Ahmin Howlader, Commerce Minister GM Quader, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Health and Family Welfare Minister Raushan Ershad, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Salma Islam and State Minister for Youth and Sports Mujibul Haque Chunnu.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, cabinet secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan admitted that the Jatiya Party ministers skipped the meeting.
As per the convention, he said, the Cabinet Division sent a file to the ministers with the relevant papers and documents. And when a minister or a state minister receives the file that means he or she will attend the meeting.
“But these Jatiya Party ministers didn’t receive the file, and the cabinet division didn’t make sitting arrangements for them in the meeting accordingly,” Bhuiyan told the journalists mentioning that there is nothing unusual as many former ministers did so in the past.
Responding to a question, he said the cabinet division has not yet received any resignation letter from any of the Jatiya party Ministers so far.
Talking about the mode of sending resignation letters by post, he mentioned that the Constitution says any minister or ministers will submit their resignation letters to the Prime Minister. “There is nothing about the mode of the submission,” he added.
The Cabinet Secretary said that the ministers will remain in their positions until the president issues a gazette notification after receiving the resignation letters from the ministers.
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad today said his party’s ministers tried to submit their resignation letters over the last three days but the Prime Minister was not available for any appointment.
“Several of my ministers went to the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday to submit their resignations, but no one accepted the letters. The ministers tried yesterday too, but they were rejected again,” he added.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Children and Women Affairs Salma Islam also did not attend the distribution of Begum Rokeya Padak 2013 in the morning that she was supposed to be presided over by her.
Earlier on Sunday, JP secretary general and Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministers ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader told reporters that six JP ministers and one adviser to the Prime Minister JP presidium member Ziauddin Bablu would send their resignation letters to the Prime Minister through regular mail as they did not get appointment to meet her.
The cabinet meeting could be a good opportunity of the Jatiya Party ministers as the Prime Minister presided over the meeting and they could submit their resignation to the Prime Minister directly.
After a meeting between JP leaders and UN envoy Oscar Fernández Taranco at Ershad’s residence in the morning on Sunday, JP presidium member and Commerce Minister GM Quader told reporters, “If all parties don’t contest the polls, JP also won’t participate in it. We’ re going to withdraw ourselves from the polls-time cabinet.”
On December 3, Ershad formally announced that his party would boycott the 10th parliamentary polls.
Ershad’s decision came within two weeks of oath taking by the six Jatiya Party leaders as ministers of the interim government.
On November 18, six ministers and two state ministers, including five ministers and a state minister from Jatiya Party, took oath to oversee the next general election.

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