13 ministers from NC sworn in

  • Dahal’s Cabinet far from being inclusive with only one woman in govt
- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Aug 27, 2016-

One woman and a father and his son-in-law were among the 13 ministers from the Nepali Congress (NC) to be inducted into the Cabinet on Friday. 

The NC now has 15 ministers in the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 27-member Cabinet. NC’s Bimalendra Nidhi as deputy prime minister and minister of home affairs and Ramesh Lekhak as the minister for physical infrastructure and transport on August 4 had taken the oath of office. 

Eight ministers from PM Dahal’s party, the CPN (Maoist Centre), two from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and one from the CPN (Samyukta) were earlier inducted into the government. 

Four more ministers from the Maoist Centre are yet to join the government.

Arjun Narsingh KC, Prakash Sharan Mahat, Bal Krishna Khand, Keshab Kumar Budhathoki, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, Shankar Bhandari, Sita Devi Yadav, Hridaya Ram Thani, Gagan Thapa, Romi Gauchan Thakali, Deepak Giri, Nabindra Raj Joshi and Suryaman Gurung were administered the oath of office by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari amid a ceremony at Sheetal Niwas.

Almost half of the NC leaders who were sworn in on Friday were earlier affiliated with party’s student wing, Nepal Students’ Union. 

NC leaders Mahat, Khand, Joshi, Thapa, Giri and Bhandari started their 

political career from student politics.

Presence of KC and Thapa has made the Cabinet composition interesting. 

Thapa is KC’s son-in-law. 

Earlier in March, competition between the two during the party’s general convention for the post of NC general secretary had stoked rumours that they were not in talking terms. After the swearing-in ceremony on Friday, they were seen shaking hands and congratulating each other on the premises of Sheetal Niwas, which offered some semblance of normality.

When it comes to district-wise representation, KC and Mahat both come from Nuwakot. And both have a long history of battling against each other within the party in the quest of having a bigger say in the district. 

Gurung, at the age of 75, is the oldest member of the Cabinet.

After Friday’s Cabinet expansion, three weeks after the Maoist Centre-NC alliance took the  government leadership, one thing that drew the interest and concern from many quarters is: the parties in the government have failed to accommodate female ministers. 

Yadav, who was elected the NC treasurer in March, is the only female Cabinet member. 

“Hopefully, the party will be more inclusive in terms of women while sending state ministers,” said Radha Ghale, acting president of NC’s youth wing, Tarun Dal. 

 

Yadav, whose husband was killed by Maoists, gets Peace Ministry

KATHMANDU: Sita Devi Yadav, who took the oath of office as a minister on Friday, is the only woman member in Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 27-member Cabinet. 

Observers who have criticised the parties for failing to accommodate more woman ministers, however, have appreciated Yadav’s decision to join a government led by Dahal.

Dahal’s Maoist party during the decade-long insurgency had killed Yadav’s husband.

Yadav has been given the Ministry of Peace portfolio. (PR)

 

Portfolios

  • Sita Devi Yadav (Peace and Reconstruction) 
  • Prakash Sharan Mahat (Foreign Affairs) 
  • Arjun Narsingh KC (Urban Development) 
  • Bal Krishna Khand (Defence) 
  • Suryaman Gurung (Labour and Employment) 
  • Jeevan Bahadur Shahi (Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation) 
  • Gagan Thapa (Health and Population) 
  • Keshav Kumar Budhathoki (General Administration) 
  • Deepak Giri (Irrigation) 
  • Romi Gauchan Thakali (Commerce)
  • Nabindra Raj Joshi (Industry)
  • Hridaya Ram Thani (Cooperative and Poverty Alleviation)
  • Shankar Bhandari (Forest and Soil Conservation)

Published: 27-08-2016 08:28

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