SSF-N decision on joining govt today

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Mar 18, 2018-

A standing committee meeting of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal on Sunday is set to decide whether the party will join the Oli government. 

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inducted 15 ministers from his own party, CPN-UML, and ally, CPN (Maoist Centre), to his Cabinet on Friday. No portfolios were assigned to the SSF-N, as was earlier expected.

 Oli has reserved the Ministry of Urban Planning and the Ministry of Health and Population for the SSF-N.

The UML leaders say dispute within the SSF-N is keeping the prime minister from giving full shape to his Cabinet. The SSF-N leaders, however, say the source of their indecision is the prime minister himself. They say Prime Minister Oli, who had agreed to make amendments to the constitution to address the demands of the Madhesi community, has yet to agree on some of the issues for them to join the government.

“Prime Minister Oli and Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal say the concerned provinces should give their consent to amend the constitution. We, on the other hand, have been maintaining that consultation with those provinces should suffice,” said SSF-N General Secretary Ranadhwoj Kandangwa.

SSF-N Co-chairman Rajendra Shrestha said the party had not picked the minister nominees. 

“We could decide the names in Sunday’s meeting as other issues have almost been finalised,” he said.

There are rumours within SSF-N that the party leadership is considering the names of Shrestha, Renu Yadav and Mohammad Istiyak Rai to join the Oli government. 

The ruling alliance of UML and Maoist Centre has allocated the posts of two ministers and one state minister to the SSF-N, besides offering the portfolio ranked second to the prime minister to the party chairman, Upendra Yadav.

As for Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, another Madhes-centric party that supported the government when Prime Minister Oli took vote of confidence in Parliament as well as voted to re-elect President Bidya Devi Bhandari recently, there are no portfolios to offer.

Some RJP-N leaders say they shall be content without any ministries as long as the left alliance agrees to amend the constitution.

Published: 18-03-2018 07:53

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