Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said on Monday that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had asked Murad to resign after audio of an obscene phone conversation with an actress spread on social media following his racist and misogynistic remarks about BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's granddaughter.
On the same day, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir claimed that Murad was once involved with Chhatra Dal while studying at Mymensingh Medical College.
Student leaders of the time have confirmed that Murad defected to the Awami League student organisation Chhatra League in 1996 after being a member of the Chhatra Dal.
Mahbub-ul-Kadir and Dr Md Isahak were the presidents of the 71-member committee of the Mymensingh Medical College Chhatra Dal right after the Awami League came to power in June 1996.
Md Isahak told bdnews24.com that Murad was the publicity secretary on their committee.
“In 1993, Murad Hassan was admitted in the first year of MBBS in M-30 batch and became an activist of the Chhatra Dal,” he said.
“Later, he became the publicity secretary of the medical college branch of Chhatra Dal. When the Awami League came to power in 1996, all of the leaders of the Chhatra Dal committee left the campus.”
“But Murad Hassan stayed on campus and joined the Chhatra League in late December 1996,” he added.
Mymensingh North District BNP joint convener and then district Chhatra Dal president Motahar Hossain Talukder told bdnews24.com that Murad Hassan was the publicity and publication secretary of the Medical College Chhatra Dal when he resigned from the Chhatra Dal in December 1996.
Anwarul Islam Ripon, then joint secretary of the Mymensingh district Chhatra League and current organising secretary of the Metropolitan Awami League, also confirmed the news.
He told bdnews24.com:
“Dr Murad Hassan had been the publicity secretary of the Mymensingh Medical College Chhatra Dal committee. Later he joined Chhatra League. In 2000, he became the president of Mymensingh Medical College Chhatra League.”
Murad Hassan has not commented on the matter. Despite several attempts, he could not be reached on his phone on Sunday.
He was scheduled to attend a programme on Monday but did not attend.
According to the website of the Ministry of Information, Murad Hassan passed the SBBS from Mymensingh Medical College in 2001 after passing his HSC from Notre Dame College in Dhaka.
In 2011, he received his M Phil degree from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
According to a biography on the Ministry of Information's website, Murad, who was born in 1974, was elected as an "executive member" of the Mymensingh Medical College branch of Chhatra League in 1994, "organisational Secretary" in 1997 and "president" in 2000.
In 2003, Murad was elected an ‘executive member' of the central committee of the Awami Jubo League.
He also served as 'executive member' of the Jamalpur District Awami League, 'executive member' of the Sarishabari Upazila Awami League, and 'health and population affairs secretary' of Jamalpur District Committee.
Murad, son of Jamalpur Awami League leader Matiur Rahman Talukder, was elected to parliament from Jamalpur-4 (Sarishabari, Mesta and Titpalya) on an Awami League ticket in the 2008 Ninth Parliamentary Election. Then, in 2018, he was elected once again.
He was initially inducted into the cabinet as the state minister for health but transferred to the information ministry in May 2019.