Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a rare move on Monday, asked State Minister of Information Murad Hassan to resign for his "derogatory remarks" against women, according to a ruling Awami League leader.
"The Prime Minister has told me to tell him (Hassan) to resign by tomorrow morning...I have conveyed him her message," Awami League general secretary and road transport minister Obaidul Quader said in a media briefing.
Quader declined to own Hassan's comments, saying they were his "personal remarks having no link to our party".
Hassan, who is also a doctor, drew criticism for his "hateful comments" in media against main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party's (BNP) acting chief Tarique Rahman's daughter and former prime minister Khaleda Zia's granddaughter.
He was also heard rebuking a well-known film actress in an audio clip which went viral on the social media, putting the government in an embarrassing situation.
While the BNP demanded the government to clear its position over Hassan's comments involving Jaima Rahman, a young barrister living in the UK with his father, women rights groups and lawyers castigated him for his "vulgar and derogatory remarks".
Zia, a graft convict, is now being treated at a Dhaka hospital with critical illness, while her elder son Rahman is in London to evade justice in several criminal and graft charges.
Actress Mahia Mahi, who is now in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj, in a video message said that Hassan made the leaked message several weeks ago which "humiliated and hurt me so much that I had no words to respond".
Hasina has been serving as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive term but this is the first such incident where a member of her council of ministers has been asked to resign.
Constitutional experts said if Hassan does not tender his resignation, the Prime Minister could get him sacked through a presidential order.