All four technocrat ministers have resigned following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s orders as part of the process to reconstitute the cabinet ahead of the general elections. They are Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar, Religious Affairs Minister Matior Rahman, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc, and Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman.
They tendered their resignation letters to the Cabinet Division on Tuesday evening, officials at their ministries told bdnews24.com.
Earlier in the day, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader told the media about Hasinas orders.
The other members of the cabinet will remain in office, Quader, who is also the road transport and bridges minister, said.
After the last shake-up in the cabinet in January, there were 30 ministers, 17 state ministers and two deputy ministers in the Hasina-led government.
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad is a special envoy with the rank of a minister to PM Hasina.
And the five advisers to the prime minister enjoy the rank of minister.
Nurul Islam from Chattogram and Matior from Mymensingh had been MPs but had to leave their seats to the Awami Leagues allies in the 2014 elections.
Jabbar, a leading IT entrepreneur, was included in Hasinas cabinet in the latest shake-up.
Yeafesh, who had served as state minister for seven years, was elevated in the first shake-up in July, 2015.
The constitution does not offer a clear explanation of the election-time government and its cabinet.
Currently, the ruling party or coalition remains in power during the polls. Parliament is not dissolved but it does only routine jobs once the three-month countdown to elections starts.
Before the last general elections in 2014, Hasina had formed a smaller cabinet with leaders for the ruling Awami Leagues allies.
The BNP and its partners had refused a proposal to join the so-called “All Party Government” and subsequently stayed away from the elections as their demand for a nonpartisan election-time government was not met.
The party has been demonstrating for the same demand ahead of the parliamentary elections now.
It has also joined a new alliance under Dr Kamal Hossains leadership.
The new alliance is scheduled to sit with Hasina on Wednesday in a second round of talks after it found “no specific solution” to the issues it had raised in the first round.