Bangabhaban Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Faridul Haque Khan Dulal, an MP from Jamalpur, has taken oath as a state minister.
President Md Abdul Hamid swore him in at the Bangabhaban’s Darbar Hall on Tuesday evening. Faridul also took oath of secrecy afterwards.
Typically, the presidential palace hosts a brief event when one or two ministers or state ministers take oath. But the arrangements were further downscaled this time due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. There were only 27 chairs for the guests.
The prime minister usually attends swearing-in ceremonies of ministers or state ministers, but Sheikh Hasina skipped the event due to the pandemic.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam moderated the event.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud and top officials attended the ceremony.
Speculation was rife on social media about the swearing-in of a new state minister for religious affairs on Monday, while the media also reported on the matter. But the government remained tightlipped about it.
Finally, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader confirmed the development on Tuesday.
The last state minister for religious affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, was a technocrat. He died from a heart attack on Jun 13.
Faridul, 64, a ruling Awami League MP from Jamalpur-2 (Islampur), is representing the constituency for the third time.
Born on Feb 1, 1956, Faridul is also a jute businessman. He has studied up to higher secondary level.
A former chairman of Islampur Upazila council, he was made a member of the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry when he became an MP for the first time in 2008.
A father of two daughters, he is a member of the parliamentary standing committee on the home ministry now.
Hasina formed government for the third consecutive term in January 2019 after the Awami League’s landslide victory in the parliamentary elections.
She appointed 24 ministers, 19 state ministers and three deputy ministers.
After two reshuffles and the death of Abdullah, her administration now has 25 ministers, 19 state ministers and three deputy ministers.
In the last changes in July 2019, Imran Ahmad was promoted to expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister from state minister and Fazilatun Nessa Indira was made state minister.