9-member Cabinet formed

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 13, 2015-

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli assumed office on Monday together with eight otherministers. President Ram Baran Yadav administered the oath of office and secrecy to the PM amid a special function at Sheetal Niwas in Maharajgunj.

Immediately after swearing in Oli as the 38th prime minister of the country, the President administered the oath to Kamal Thapa and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as deputy prime ministers. Thapa has been appointed the foreign minister and Gachhadar as the physical infrastructure and transport minister.

Gachhadar, chairman of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik, supported the Oli-led coalition at the

last moment after the CPN-UML and the UCPN (Maoist) agreed to revise the seven-province federal model based on the suggestions of an expert panel. Gachhadar was last a deputy prime minister in the Baburam Bhattarai-led government.

Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Chair Thapa returns to power after a decade. The home minister in the royal government in 2005, Thapa was implicated by the Rayamajhi Commission for misusing state coffers and was recommended action on the charge of killing protesters during the Jana Andolan II. The party was decisive in UML Chairman Oli’s election as the PM after the Nepali Congress ended an 18-month-long alliance with the party.

PM Oli inducted three ministers from his own party in the Cabinet—UML Chief Whip Agni Kharel, Satya Narayan Mandal and Som Prasad Pandey.

One of the drafters of the 2007 Interim Constitution, Senior Advocate Kharel was rewarded for his active role in the constitution drafting process. UML sources said Mandal and Pandey were appointed from the party quota.

Pandey got the Industry Ministry while Mandal took oath as a minister without portfolio. UML sources said that Pandey was appointed on the recommendation of senior party leader Madhav Nepal. Pandey is an in-law of Nepal.

UCPN (M) leader Haribol Gajurel was appointed the agriculture minister for his experience in land reform. Oli appointed Megh Raj Nepali Nishad of Madhes Samata Party as a state minister. Nepali, a kidney patient, had reached Parliament on Sunday straight away from hospital where he was undergoing a dialysis.

Oli’s bid to appoint two more deputy PMs, one from the UCPN (M) and the other from his own party, did not materialise due to the differences in the two parties. Sources close to the Maoist party reported of a dispute whether to name Krishna Bahadur Mahara or Top Bahadur Rayamajhi as the home minister with the DPM portfolio.

“I hope the party will decide by Tuesday,” said a source close to Oli.

UCPN (M) sources said the party sent only Gajurel to the government to begin with as a power-sharing deal with the UML has yet to be finalised.

Differences emerged also in the UML whether to name Bishnu Poudel or Bhim Rawal as a deputy prime minister and their portfolios. Poudel is likely to take charge of the Finance Ministry but it is not clear whether he will also be a DPM. UML sources said senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal has been mounting pressure on the PM to appoint Rajendra Pandey as a minister. Ram Kumar Subba, a RPP-Nepal member, took the oath as a minister without portfolio.

Kamal Thapa (DPM)    Foreign Affairs

Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar (DPM)    Physical Infrastructure and Transport

Agni Kharel     Law and Justice

Haribol Gajurel    Agriculture

Som Prasad Pandey    Industry

Satya Narayan Mandal    Minister without portfolio

Ram Kumar Subba    Minister without portfolio

Megh Raj Nepali Nishad    State minister

Published: 13-10-2015 08:41

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