Obaidul Quader (Bengali: ওবায়দুল কাদের; born 1 January 1950)[Note 1] is a Bangladeshi politician who has been General Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League since October 2016. He has served as the Minister of Road Transport and Bridges since December 2011 and as a Member of Parliament representing the Noakhali-5 constituency since January 2009. He is also Media Adviser for the Bangladesh Awami League and regularly conducts press conferences on their behalf.[1][2][3][4] He was the State Minister for Youth and Sports from 1996 to 2001.[5]

Obaidul Quader
ওবায়দুল কাদের
Quader in 2023
Minister of Road Transport and Bridges
Assumed office
6 December 2011
Prime MinisterSheikh Hasina
Preceded bySyed Abul Hossain
Minister of State for Youth and Sports
In office
23 January 1996 – 15 July 2001
Prime MinisterSheikh Hasina
Preceded bySadeque Hossain Khoka
Succeeded byFazlur Rahman Patal
Member of Bangladesh Parliament
Assumed office
6 January 2009
Preceded byMoudud Ahmed
In office
22 June 1996 – 30 October 2001
Preceded byMoudud Ahmed
Succeeded byMoudud Ahmed
General Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League
Assumed office
23 October 2016
Party PresidentSheikh Hasina
Preceded bySayed Ashraful Islam
Personal details
Born (1952-01-01) 1 January 1952 (age 72)[Note 1]
Bara Rajapur, Noakhali District, East Bengal, Pakistan
Political partyBangladesh Awami League
SpouseIsratunnesa Quader
EducationBachelor of Arts
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka

Early life and education edit

Obaidul Quader was born on 1 January 1950 to Mosharrof Hussain and Begum Fazilatunnesa[5] (d. 2018)[6] in Bara Rajapur village, in what is now Companiganj Upazila, Noakhali, Bangladesh.[5] He has six sisters and three brothers including Abdul Kader Mirza, the incumbent mayor of Basurhat municipality in Companiganj, Noakhali.[6][7] He completed his matriculation with a first division from Basurhat A. H. C. Government High School and HSC from Noakhali Government College. He obtained a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Dhaka.[5]

Career edit

Quader with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in April 2018.

Quader was involved in politics since his college life. In 1966, he played an active role during the six point movement. He was also active in the mass uprising and the eleven-point movement in 1969. He joined the Liberation War of Bangladesh as the commander of Companigonj Thana Mujib Forces. After 1975, Qader was imprisoned for two and a half years. While in prison, he was elected president of the central committee of the Bangladesh Chhatra League and he remained so for two consecutive terms.[5] He worked as the assistant editor of the newspaper in Daily Banglar Bani for a long time.[5]

Quader was elected as a member of parliament for the constituency Noakhali-5 in the parliamentary elections of 12 June 1996. He was State Minister of Youth, Sports, and Cultural Affairs from 23 June 1996 to 15 July 2001, and he was first senior joint general secretary of the Bangladesh Awami League from 26 December 2002 to 26 July 2009. He was arrested on 9 March 2007 by the Caretaker government of Bangladesh and remained in prison for 17 months and 26 days before he was released on bail on 5 September 2008.[5]

On 5 December 2011, Quader was appointed as Minister of Communication. He was elected as a member of parliament on 5 January 2014, for the constituency Noakhali-5 for the third time in the 10th parliamentary election.[5] He became the general secretary of the Awami League in October 2016 at the 20th council of the party.[8] Quader retained the general secretary post in the Awami League’s 22nd national council for a 3rd consecutive term.[9]

Corruption allegation edit

Quader was arrested by the joint forces on corruption allegation on 9 March 2007,[10] and corruption charges were framed against him and his wife for accumulating wealth illegally and concealing them in income file records. He was also accused of providing fake sources of income by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh.[11]

In 2019, Netra News revealed that Quader has a collection of dozens of expensive wristwatches that cost tens of thousands of USD. Wristwatches in his possession include brands like Rolex, Ulysse Nardin and Louis Vuitton. According to the whistleblower, Quader receives watches from contractors of the megaprojects in lieu of undue favours.[12] Quader later accepted of owning the expensive wristwatches cited in the report to the media and claimed that the watches were gifted to him by Awami League supporters and leaders.[13] In April 2023, in an interview with Voice of America he admitted that he has a rich collection of wristwatches and he accepted expensive gifts from party supporters.[14] However, the claim of receiving expensive gifts suggests Quader has violated the Toshakhana (Maintenance and Administrative) Rules 1974. Section 4(b) of the rules mentions that the ministers can only accept gifts up to 30,000 Bangladeshi takas (equivalent to USD 300) without handing them over the treasury of the government. Transparency International Bangladesh chapter raised question on his acquiring of expensive wristwatches.[15]

Works edit

Quader authored the following books:[5]

  • Bangladesh: A Revolution Betrayed (1976)
  • Bangladesher Hridoy Hote
  • Pakistaner Karagare Bangabandhu
  • Ei Bijoyer Mukut Kothai
  • Teen Somudrer Deshe
  • Meghe Meghe Onek Bela
  • Rochona Somogro
  • Karagare Lekha Onusmriti : Je Kotha Bola Hoyni
  • Nirbachito Column
  • Gangchil[16]

Personal life edit

Quader married Isratunnesa Quader.[5] He doesn't have any children.

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b The websites of the Bangladesh Parliament and the Road Transport and Highways Division state that he was born on 1 January 1950,[17][18] but older biographies such as the 2018 one on the Roads and Highways Department website say 1 January 1952.[19]

References edit

  1. ^ "Hon'ble Ministers". Government of Bangladesh. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  2. ^ "BNP announcing 'jumbo' committees joke of the year, says AL leader Obaidul Quader". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  3. ^ "No plan for transport without RSTP". Dhaka Tribune. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  4. ^ "No plan to arrest Khaleda: Obaidul Quader". The Daily Star. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Obaidul Quader: At a glance". The Daily Star. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Begum Fazilatunnesa dies". New Age. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Quader Mirza claims motorcade attacked in Feni; blames Noakhali MP Ekramul Karim, 2 others". The Daily Star. 11 February 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Hasina re-elected as AL president, Obaidul Quader new general secretary". bdnews24.com. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Sheikh Hasina, Obaidul Quader re-elected AL president, GS". Risingbd.com. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Joint forces arrest Obaidul Quader". BD News 24. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Charges pressed against Obaidul Quader, wife". The Daily Star. 21 April 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  12. ^ "A wrist of luxury". Netra News. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Luxury watches are gifts from Awami League activists, Obaidul Quader says". BD News 24. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  14. ^ "আমি নিজের পয়সায় ঘড়ি কিনি না, এত টাকা দিয়ে ঘড়ি কেনা আমার পক্ষে সম্ভব নাঃ ওবায়দুল কাদের". Voice of America (in Bengali). 9 April 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  15. ^ "Toshakhana (Maintenance and Administrative) Rules 1974" (PDF). Cabinet Division. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Muhurat of movie based on Obaidul Quader's novel held". UNB. 19 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Constituency 272_11th_En". Bangladesh Parliament. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Biography of the Honorable Minister". Road Transport and Highways Division. 11 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Biography of the Honorable Minister". Roads and Highways Department. 8 July 2018.