9 ministers sworn in

  • Cabinet expansion not over n Oli’s party UML unable to decide names
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 19, 2015-

A week after taking charge, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday appointed seven ministers from the UCPN (Maoist) and two more from the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik and Bahujan Samajbadi Party. This makes the Cabinet 18-member while ministers from the ruling CPN-UML and CPN-ML are yet to be appointed.

Maoist Standing Committee member Top Bahadur Rayamajhi leads the party in the government as the energy minister with a deputy prime minister portfolio. Earlier, Haribol Gajurel had joined the Cabinet as the agriculture minister.

On the Maoist recommendation, the PM appointed Giriraj Mani Pokharel as the education minister, Agni Sapkota as the forest minister, Umesh Yadav as the irrigation minister, Rekha Sharma as the general administration minister and Ganesh Man Pun as the minister for commerce and supplies.

Most of them were directly involved in the decade-long insurgency. Basnet was the commander of the disbanded People’s Liberation Army and Pun and Sapkota the party leaders. Yadav was accused of hurling chairs at lawmakers while the Constituent Assembly started the voting process in January. Sharma was a female guerrilla fighter in the Maoist army.

PM Oli appointed MJF-L lawmaker Ram Janam Chaudhary and Bahujan Samajbadi Party’s Biswendra Paswan as ministers without portfolio. Before extending its support to the UML while forming the government, the MJF-L had been assured of three ministries.

MJF-L Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar has already taken charge of the Physical Planning and Transport Ministry with a DPM portfolio. Oli’s party UML, however, failed to nominate its share of ministers.

The dispute over whether to name Bishnu Poudel, Bhim Rawal or Surendra Pandey as the DPM and finance minister has put the UML in a fix. Oli wants Poudel as the finance minister but General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel does not back the PM’s choice. Some party leaders have already objected to Oli’s pick of ministers in the first phase.A Standing Committee meeting that was supposed to prepare a final list of ministers ended inclusively on Sunday.

“The meeting has mandated the party chairman to decide the names,” said UML Secretary Prithivi Subba Gurung.

Senior UML leaders are also miffed at Oli for allocating key ministries to junior coalition partners without consultation in the party. “Is there anything left for the UML? The party has compromised too much,” said leader Gokarna Bista.

Key ministries such as Education, Irrigation and Physical Planning have already been taken while the RPP-Nepal has demanded another crucial, Local Development, ministry. In the 16-party coalition, Janamorcha Nepal, CPN-Unified and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party also claim ministries.

Published: 19-10-2015 08:15

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