The possibility of Syed Ashraful Islam making a comeback to politics is “very little”, the Awami League leader’s brother Syed Shafayatul Islam says. Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraf is undergoing treatment at the Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand after taking sick leave from parliament on Sept 18. Shafayat spoke about his brother’s condition at a Jail Killing Day programme in Kishoreganj on Sunday amid speculations about chances of Syed Ashraf contesting in the general elections.
“Syed Ashraful Islam is critically ill. He is suffering from lung cancer. He cant recognise anyone, not even the members of our family,” Shafayat said.
“The possibility of him returning to politics in this condition is very little. We are focusing more on his treatment, not politics,” he added.
Shafayat, who had himself contested in parliamentary elections from the Kishoreganj seat with the Awami Leagues ticket, also said speculations that his brother is returning to politics soon were wrong.
The former army officer urged all to pray for Syed Ashrafs quick recovery instead of spreading rumours.
Bangladesh observes Jail Killing Day to commemorate the killing of four national leaders, including Syed Ashrafs father Syed Nazrul Islam, the acting President of Bangladesh during the Liberation War, in jail in 1975.
After the death of Syed Nazrul, Syed Ashraf had been in the UK for a long time. He was elected MP from Kishoreganj-1 seat in 1996, 2001, 2008 and 2014 after returning home.
Ashraf was entrusted with the duties of Awami League general secretary when central leaders including party chief Sheikh Hasina was put behind bars during the 2007-8 emergency rule. He proved his mettle when the military-controlled government sought to punish politicians and banish the two top leaders Hasina and Khaleda Zia.
The leaders and activists of the party still remember the role he played in strengthening the party.
Hasina, however, removed him as the local government minister in 2015. He also lost the partys number two post, general secretary, in its last council. He is a member of the Awami Leagues presidium now.
The 68-year-old fell ill after the death of her wife Sheila Islam last year.
“Syed Ashraf is unrivalled. One day, he will surpass Syed Nazrul in Bangladeshs history. He will be the great hero in history,” Shafayat said about his brother at the programme at the Syed Nazrul Islam Medical College.