NC preparing to stake claim to 12 ministries

  • Either Nidhi or Sitaula to lead Congress team
- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu
The Nepali Congress is set to get 12 ministries while the Maoist Centre will control eight, according to a leader close to NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba. However, if the Madhes-based parties are brought on board, the equation could change

Jul 14, 2016-With a majority government led by the CPN (Maoist Centre) looking set to be in place, the Nepali Congress is preparing to stake claim to at least 12 ministries in the new dispensation. 

NC leaders say a tentative agreement on distribution of ministerial portfolios has already been reached and that extensive discussions are underway on composition of the party’s team in the government. 

The NC is set to get 12 ministries while the Maoist Centre will control eight, a leader close to NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba as well as a Maoist leader told the Post. 

However, if the Madhes-based parties are brought on board, the equation could change.

According to highly placed sources, either Bimalendra Nidhi or Krishna Prasad Sitaula is likely to lead the NC team in the government with the home ministry portfolio. Among others, Prakash Sharan Mahat and Bal Krishna Khand are other likely candidates. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the NC officially decided to support a majority government led by the Maoist Centre, as leaders formally made public a seven-point deal between the two parties to form the new government and a verbal agreement on power-sharing.

Apart from the seven-point deal in which the NC and Maoist Centre have agreed to amend the constitution to address the Madhesi concerns, prepare laws necessary to implement the constitution and hold three elections—local, provincial and federal—by speeding up local body restructuring works, and creating an environment to conclude the peace process, among others, a “gentleman’s agreement” to rotate government leadership had also been reached between Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and NC President Deuba, confirmed NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC.

As per the power-sharing agreement, the Maoists will lead the government for the first nine months and hold local elections and after that, a Congress-led government would conduct federal and provincial elections in the next nine months. Speaking at the party’s central committee meeting on Wednesday morning, Nidhi apprised the members of the changing political scenario and the agreements the party has reached with the Maoists. 

“Our party’s official decision was endorsed by the central committee after we were notified about both the seven-point deal on government formation and the verbal agreement on power-sharing,” KC said.

Poudel piqued

KATHMANDU: Senior Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel is learnt to have been miffed by what he believes a “unilateral move” by party President Sher Bahadur Deuba regarding agreements with the CPN (Maoist Centre) on government formation and power-sharing. “Our former party presidents used to discuss such sensitive matters at least with the senior leaders, but you did not even bother to inform the office bearers,” a leader quoted Poudel as saying during the party’s Wednesday’s central committee meeting that decided to support a Maoist Centre-led government. Deuba, in response, said that the developments were kept secret for the fear that the agreement could have been breached had it been made public beforehand. (PR) 

In Cong’s kitty (tentative)

  •     Ministry of Home Affairs
  •     Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  •     Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development
  •     Ministry of Education
  •     Ministry of Tourism
  •     Ministry of General Administration
  •     Sports
  •     Labour
  •     Ministry of Energy or Irrigation

Published: 14-07-2016 14:19

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