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Saturday, October 4, 2014, Ashwin 19, 1421, Zilhajj 8, 1435 Hijr

Not govt but Latif in trouble: PM
She says the minister is removed, now procedures to follow
Publish Date : 2014-10-04,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 12
Staff Correspondent
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday confirmed that the Posts, Telecommunications and ICT Minister, Abdul Latif Siddique, was dropped from the Cabinet and he would also be fired from the ruling party for his controversial comments on Hajj.
She hinted that the actions against the beleaguered minister would be implemented after some official formalities and following the rules of business.
"I will do what I have already announced soon after reaching London from New York", Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, asserted.
"I cannot retain him as a Cabinet member and according to the Constitution he will have to resign if I give the order. Otherwise (he) will be sacked," she said.
Hasina made her government's stance clear when she responded to questions at a press conference at Ganabhaban on Friday afternoon on her recent visit to the US.
Terming Siddique's remarks objectionable, the PM said, "Neither the government nor the country is in trouble but Latif Siddique himself is in trouble. He will have to pay   price for his statement."
Responding to a query PM said, "The removal of Siddique from the Cabinet has been confirmed, but it needs to follow the rules of business laid down in the Constitution. The Cabinet is ready to refer the file of Siddique to the President seeking his removal. The President and the Cabinet Secretary are now in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj."
Asked if the senior leader would be expelled from the party, Awami League President Hasina said, "The party will have to discuss the matter of expulsion. The working committee will discuss the allegations and decide."
Regarding termination from the party, Sheikh Hasina said Awami League working committee meeting will take the decision whether Siddique would continue as a Presidium Member.
"I believe no member of my party's working committee will oppose the decision to remove him," she confidently said.
A video clip of Siddique's statement triggered a storm as it went viral on the internet and touched a few raw nerves within his party and beyond.
Since then, over two dozen cases have been filed against the senior Awami League leader at different courts in several districts of Bangladesh, accusing him of hurting religious sentiments.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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