Gandaki Province CM assigns ministerial portfolios to Hari Bahadur Chuman and Deepak Manange

Published On: April 20, 2024 12:55 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 20: Chief Minister of Gandaki Province, Khagraj Adhikari, has assigned ministerial portfolios to Hari Bahadur Chuman and Rajeev Gurung, known as 'Deepak Manange'. They were previously appointed as ministers without portfolio.

Minister Chuman confirmed that Chief Minister Adhikari assigned the ministerial portfolios to them on Saturday. "It is the chief minister's prerogative to assign ministerial responsibilities. He called to inform me that he has assigned the finance ministry to me and the ministry of physical infrastructure development to Manange," Chuman stated, adding that the provincial chief had already been informed.

While Chuman remains in Kathmandu, Adhikari is also expected to arrive in the capital after assuming ministry responsibilities.

Adhikari has increased the number of ministries in Gandaki Province from seven to nine for power-sharing deal among parties.

Despite an interim order from the Supreme Court to refrain from making long-term impactful decisions, Chief Minister Adhikari has proceeded with activities such as assigning ministerial responsibilities and convening parliament sessions.

In a cabinet meeting held on Friday, the official agenda for presenting a bill was discussed. However, MPs from opposition parties, Nepali Congress (NC), and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), boycotted the meeting, alleging unconstitutional appointments, and called for a parliamentary session against the court order. Speaker Krishna Prasad Dhital adjourned the meeting indefinitely after the opposition benches were vacated in Parliament.

Adhikari, who claimed a majority with Speaker Dhital's support, was appointed Chief Minister by Provincial Chief Dilliraj Bhatt on April 7. On the same day, he appointed 'Deepak Manange,' an independent MP, and Chuman from the Maoists as ministers without portfolios.

NC filed a writ in the Supreme Court, accusing the Speaker of being involved in a power struggle. During the hearing, the Supreme Court ordered a halt to making any significant long-term decisions except for routine tasks on April 10.

The court has prioritized the Chief Minister Appointment dispute and scheduled a hearing for April 22.

In Gandaki Province, there are 60 MPs, including 27 from NC, 22 from CPN-UML, 8 from the Maoist Center, 2 from RPP, and Deepak Manange.

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