The Awami League general secretary told his staff after emerging from a two-hour long meeting with party chief Hasina on Tuesday that he was not going on the journey the next day.
His personal staff Syed Tofazzal Islam told “Sir said ‘tell protocol (officer) I’m not going tomorrow’.”
Tofazzal had earlier said Syed Ashraf was flying to London on Wednesday to enjoy Eid-ul-Fitr with his wife and daughter.
Several officials at the Ganabhaban said the party president had called in Ashraf at her residence in the evening.
Security staff stationed there told Ashraf drove in at 7:30pm and left around 9:45pm.
A source close to Ashraf, who was retained in the Cabinet as minister without portfolio, said it was at the meeting that Hasina asked him to not go to London now.
The prime minister removed his trusted lieutenant Ashraf from his portfolio on July 9, triggering intense nationwide speculations.
But the son of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s close associate Syed Nazrul Islam is active in the party. After his sacking, Syed Ashraf said at an event he was loyal to the party as ever.
He joined a function at Ramna’s Officers Club on Tuesday evening. He wished party leaders well, greeted them on Eid and promised to attend similar events in the next Ramadan.