Expelled Awami League leader and former minister Abdul Latif Siddique yesterday tendered his resignation as a lawmaker.
He said he was doing this as per the will of his leader.
He entered the house after the Maghrib prayers yesterday – the first day of the 10th parliament’s seventh session. Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina was not present at the time.
When he asked whether he would read out the resignation letter, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said there was no need for this.
Earlier, he sent the letter to the Speaker through the parliament staff. Before that, he met the Speaker in her office around 6:30pm.
“I am a Muslim. I am a Bangali. I belong to the Awami League. Nobody in this world has the power to erase these identities because this is my spirit and has been the path of my life...” Latif told the House.
When Latif was delivering his speech, several parliament members appreciated him by thumping their desks. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu was one of them, but Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, who was sitting next to him, stopped Amu by holding his hand.
Regarding his resignation, Siddique said: “Today marks the end of me. I have no objection against anyone. I bow down to everyone and apologise. I believe in getting the love of people...My leader [Sheikh Hasina] does not want me to be a lawmaker anymore.”
Having finished his 14-minute speech that was full of emotions, Latif left the chamber. Before that, he shook hands with Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Religious Affairs Minister Matiur Rahman, junior energy minister Nasrul Hamid and some of his other former colleagues.
In September last year, the now-former Tangail lawmaker and then telecom minister Latif faced severe criticism from different quarters after making untoward remarks about Hajj and Tabligh Jamaat at a programme in the USA.
A number of lawsuits have been filed against him in the country for hurting religious sentiments. Later he was expelled from the Awami League and fired from the cabinet.
Recently he came out on bail after having stayed nine months in jail in several of those lawsuits.