PM Dahal reshuffles his cabinet following new alliance with UML

Published On: March 6, 2024 10:34 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 6: Newly-appointed ministers from CPN (Maoist Center), CPN-UML, CPN (Unified Socialist) and Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) took the oath of office and secrecy amidst a special function held at the Office of President on Wednesday.  

The new Cabinet has 20 ministers including three Deputy Prime Ministers, one each from Maoist Center, UML and RSP.  The ministers, who assumed their respective offices on Wednesday itself, include five from Maoist Center, eight from UML, four from Rastriya Swatantra Party and two from Unified Socialist.

Those appointed as ministers from Maoist Center include Narayan Kaji Shrestha (Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister), Barsha Man Pun (Finance Minister), Shakti Bahadur Basnet (Energy), Rekha Sharma (Information and Communication) and Hit Bahadur Tamang (Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation). Shrestha, Sharma and Basnet served as ministers from the Maoist Center in the previous Dahal-led Cabinet with Nepali Congress.

Similarly, Prime Minister Dahal has appointed UML leaders Raghu Bir Mahaseth (Deputy Prime Minister and Physical Infrastructure), Padam Giri (Law), Jwala Kumari Shah (Agriculture), Damodar Bhandari (Industry), Rajendra Rai (Drinking Water), Hari Upreti (Defense), Bhagawati Chaudhary (Women and Children) and Bal Ram Adhikari (Land Reform Management) as his Cabinet colleagues.

Similarly, four RSP leaders including Rabi Lamichhane (Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister), DP Aryal (Labor, Employment and Social Security), Sumana Shrestha (Education) and Biraj Bhakta Shrestha (Youths and Sports) have been inducted in the Dahal-led Cabinet.

Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Unified Socialist has sent Dhan Bahadur Budha (Urban Development) and Bhanu Bhakta Jaisi (Federal Affairs and General Administration) as ministers in the Dahal-led Cabinet.

In terms of seniority among three DPMs, Mahaseth has been ranked right after PM Dahal followed by DPM Shrestha and Lamichhane. Prime Minister Dahal is expected to induct a few ministers in the days ahead as negotiations are still underway with the JSP and other fringe parties.

All ministers representing NC had resigned from their posts en masse on Tuesday after the Maoist Center and UML along with other parties reached an agreement to forge a new political alliance. 

Meanwhile, the JSP led by Upendra Yadav has stated that it will abstain from participating in the government unless the continuity of the current leadership of Madhesh Province government is ensured.

A meeting of the party’s executive committee failed to reach any consensus to join the government as a majority of the executive members advised the party Chairman Yadav against joining the government.

The key condition set by the JSP is that the current leadership of the Madhesh Provincial government should be allowed to continue. At present, the JSP leads the provincial government in Madhesh Province.

JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav has formally signed the eight-point agreement formulated by the four participating parties.

As Prime Minister Dahal reshuffled his cabinet after breaking his alliance with Nepali Congress (NC), NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba has also expedited his initiative to strengthen the party’s alliance with other parties in the parliament. While he held a meeting with Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal at the latter;s residence, he held separate meetings with various Madhesh-based political parties at his own residence in Baluwatar on Wednesday evening.


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