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B'desh railway minister resigns over cash scandal

April 16, 2012 14:00 IST

Bangladesh's embattled Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta on Monday resigned from his post four months after assuming office following the last week's midnight cash scandal.

"I am resigning for the sake of impartial investigations," he said at a press conference, referring to the controversy surrounding the recovery of huge stashes of cash from the car of his assistant personal secretary.

Sengupta, a veteran parliamentarian and senior leader of the ruling Awami League, said he was resigning to set an example in the "country's 40 years of history" accepting "the blames of all failures in my shoulder".

Earlier in the day, he submitted the resignation letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He said Prime Minister Hasina agreed to his decision as he conveyed his willingness to quit the cabinet on Sunday night.

Sengupta expressed hope that the "truth" will come out through investigation.

He took oath as minister on November 28 last year.

Sengupta's resignation came a week after one of his aides and the two railway officials were going to his residence at around midnight when their car driver suddenly pulled the vehicle over to the high security Border Guard Bangladesh's Pilkhana headquarters and they told the border guards that there were stashes of bribe money inside the car.

An amount said to be as high as Taka 70 lakh with no known source of origin was reportedly found in their possession. The border guards freed them along with the amount next morning after overnight grilling.

The recovery created sensation due to the identities of the persons who were inside the APS's car and their statements that they were going to the minister's residence.

Sengupta has said that he did not have any "direct or indirect" link with the money.

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