PM Oli to reshuffle cabinet today

Published On: November 20, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Up to 10 ministers might be ousted to bring in others ‘deserving’ induction

KATHMANDU, Nov 20: After a month-long exercise Prime Minister KP Oli has decided to reshuffle his cabinet on Wednesday, ousting some ministers to induct new faces and shunting some others to new portfolios.

Prime Minister Oli informed all cabinet ministers about his plan on Tuesday afternoon, at a cabinet meeting held at his official residence at Baluwatar. 

“The prime minister has asked us not to attend any public function tomorrow (Wednesday), informing us about his plan to reshuffle the cabinet,” said a minister requesting not to be named. 

According to a source at Baluwatar, the prime minister plans to ask at least seven ministers to step down and change the portfolios of two others. 

“Some of you will continue in your responsibilities, some may change ministries and some may not continue in office,” one minister quoted him as saying at the meeting. “I request those being asked to step down not to take it amiss. I am not asking some of you to quit because you were not up to the task; it’s just that we have to rotate in others who are also deserving.” According to another minister, the prime minister was quite defensive about ousting some of his ministers.

Although the prime minister had planned to reshuffle the cabinet earlier this week prior to finalizing the candidate for new speaker of the lower house of parliament, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, his fellow chairperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), insisted on finalizing other issues also, including his role in the party, all in a package. 

“The two chairpersons of the party (Oli and Dahal) have nearly finalized the names of the ministers to be ousted and those to be inducted in their place. At least five to 10 ministers could be changed on Wednesday,” said a senior leader of the NCP. 

Although no NCP leader has officially disclosed the list of those to be replaced in the new lineup, some said that Minister for Industry and Commerce Matrika Yadav, Agriculture Minister Chakrapani Khanal, Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bishwakarma, Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit, Physical Planning and Infrastructure Raghubir Mahaseth, and Women and Social Welfare Thammaya Thapa are most likely to be axed. 

Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Bina Magar is most likely to be shunted to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, according to the source. 

Minister Yadav started to cover the national flag on his official car from Monday after being tipped off by Baluwatar about his likely ouster, said an official at his ministry. 

Sources also said Surendra Pandey, Devendra Paudel, Ghanashyam Bhusal, Janardan Sharma and Agni Sapkota among others are in the fray to become ministers.

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