Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sohel Taj's resignation 'not accepted'

Speaker Abdul Hamid on Wednesday said his office did not accept the resignation from parliament of Awami League MP Tanjim Ahmed, also known as Sohel Taj, on technical grounds. The Gazipur-4 MP's personal aide had handed in the letter to the Speaker's office on Apr 23, nearly three years after the son of Bangladesh's Liberation War-time prime minister, Tajuddin Ahmed, had 'resigned' as a junior minister.

Speaker Hamid revealed that the resignation letter was not properly submitted. "The resignation letter has not been accepted since it did not properly follow the Constitution and Rules of Procedure," the Speaker told reporters at his office. He added that he would consider the resignation letter if Sohel Taj re-submitted it as per proper rules. "Effective steps will be taken if he writes a letter expressing his will to resign..." The Speaker pointed out that the letter was not accepted as it did not have the words 'willing to resign' in line with the Section 67 of the Constitution. "One has to write his resignation letter himself. But Sohel Taj's one was typewritten." "Moreover, the signature and the date were written using two types of ink and they seemed to have been written by different people," he added.

The former state minister for home had showed no reasons for his dramatic decision to resign even as an MP, signalling his retirement from active politics. He had issued an open letter to his followers at Kapasia in Gazipur where he said he had taken the decision after 'much thought' but could not enlarge on the reasons. Sohel Taj is currently staying in the United States. He joined Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet as the state minister for home on Jan 6, 2009. Only five months into taking of oath, he had resigned on May 31 the same year. After his resignation, the government had said that the president had not accepted the resignation.

The MP recently wrote to the Cabinet Division asking it to take back his salary and other allowances as a state minister debited into his bank account despite his resignation in 2009. The Cabinet Division said it has no record of his resignation and therefore continues to disburse his pay and perks. He has often been offered ministerial protocol, which he refused leading to reports in the media. The government has never clarified its position on Sohel Taj.

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