Bangladesh minister quits, part of crackdown on graft

DHAKA Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:16pm IST

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DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh's railway minister resigned on Monday over allegations of bribery, a move seen as part of a campaign launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to clean up the administration ahead of elections next year.

Suranjit Sengupta announced his resignation to allow an investigation into allegations that he had taken bribes in return for jobs at the railways ministry.

"I have taken this decision in the interest of democracy and to allow an unhindered investigation," he told a news conference.

Hasina has sought to answer criticism that she has been soft on members of her administration facing accusations of abuse of power, by launching a crackdown ahead of parliament elections in 2013.

Hasina had appointed Sengupta, a veteran lawyer, as railways minister with a mandate to clean up the corruption-ridden and loss-making department.

(Reporting by Anis Ahmed; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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