Nidhi to skip Cabinet meeting

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 10, 2017-The protocol row between two deputy prime ministers--Bimalendra Nidhi and Kamal Thapa--has repeatedly put off the Cabinet meeting, the latest slated for Sunday afternoon, even as a lot of important decisions to be taken by the government are pending.

The next Cabinet meeting has been scheduled for Monday afternoon. Sources close to DPM and Home Minister Nidhi told the Post that he will be absent the meeting.

The DPM will not attend the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday as he is travelling to Dang. Nidhi, who was preparing to resign from the post after the seniority row turned nasty and the prime minister refused to make him the second in command of the Cabinet, has had second thoughts after meeting party President Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Nidhi held a meeting with Nepali Congress chief Deuba on Friday to consult on various issues including the protocol dispute. Deuba is learnt to have told Nidhi that it would not send a good message ahead of the local level elections.

But Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Deuba reportedly told Nidhi that it was imperative to have DPM Thapa in the Cabinet after the Madhesi Morcha withdrew its support to the government.

Nidhi called a meeting of 12 Congress ministers last week and expressed his intent to resign arguing that since he represents the largest party in the government, his claim for the second rank was natural. But the ministers had urged him not to take a decision in haste, particularly ahead of the fast approaching local polls.

Prime Minister Dahal had called a meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday afternoon to approve a new constitution amendment proposal and to appoint the Nepal Police inspector general, among others.

But, according to the PM’s aide, the meeting was put off because Dahal was busy with efforts to build consensus on the constitution amendment proposal particularly with the CPN-UML and the Madhesi Morcha. The other reason was the longstanding row over seniority between the two of the deputies.

His aide said that Nidhi would be avoiding Cabinet meetings until there is a change in government after the local polls are held on May 14.

Published: 10-04-2017 07:52

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