Bangladesh railway minister resigns for bribetaking

railway minister

DHAKA, Bangladesh– Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta, who stirred  wide controversy in connection with  the  recovery  of  huge  amount  of  bribe money, has  finally  stepped  down  taking ‘full responsibility’ for the recent cash scandal involving his  personal staff.
 
Suranjit, a  high profile political leader  of  ruling Awami League , who took over the newly-crated ministry barely five months back, made the formal announcement of his resignation at a press briefing on Monday afternoo (April 16, 2012)

Earlier  on Sunday night Suranjit met prime minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganabhaban for  the first time since the scandal surfaced on April  9. 

“Even though I was not linked to the incident, I am resigning to strengthen democracy,” he told the press conference wishing  the  controversy would not  tint the image of  the  ruling  party Awami League  and  its  chief  Prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
 
Meanwhile, the opposition BNP said “The resignation of Suranjit proved that the incumbent government is totally corrupt. So, it should also quit,”
The scandal surfaced after his assistant personal secretary (APS) Omar Faruq Talukder was detained by the Border Guard Bangladesh personnel in the early hours of Apr 10 with unaccounted-for Tk 7 million in the car carrying Faruq and two top railway officials.

He said, “The incident is fully my responsibility, it is neither my party’s nor the government’s. I met the prime minister last Sunday for about an hour after she returned home. I expressed my desire to her to resign and she agreed.”

“I’ll prove my innocence and will be back in politics in a transparent manner,” Suranjit said.

 Suranjit, who has been MP in most parliaments formed since independence, took oath as the railway minister on Nov 28 last year. This is the first time Suranjit became a minister.

A former political leader of a left leaning party, NAP, Suranjit joined Awami League in the early 1990s. He was a member of the country’s first committee to constitute the charter and co-chairman of the special committee on the 15th Amendment to the Constitution.

Suranjit was also the head of the parliamentary standing committee on the law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry until recently.

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