KATHMANDU, Jan 31: With the left alliance finalizing power-sharing deal in the provincial governments, aspirants for the chief minister’s post have intensified their lobbying with the party’s top guns. Left alliance will jointly form governments in six provinces.
The UML-Maoist Center taskforce committee on Sunday informed that among six provinces, UML will get Chief Ministers in Province No 1, 3, 4 and 5 and bag the posts of speakers in Province No 1, 3, 6 and 7.
Similarly, Maoist Center would get Chief Ministers in Province 6 and 7 and speakers’ posts in Province 4 and 5.
However, the posts of the deputy speakers will be decided interchangeably with speakers.
Similarly, the taskforce has suggested 70 per cent ministers from UML and 30 per cent from Maoist Center in the provincial cabinets.
There is huge interest in the chief ministerial positions as the head of the provincial government is expected to be the second most coveted position after the prime minister due to the vast amount of power and resources.
Maoist Center on Tuesday said that the responsibility of selecting Chief Ministers has been given to the party’s province in-charge. The Maoist Center has 14 members, including 10 elected from the first-past-the-post and four from the proportional representation category in the Provincial Assembly in Province 7.
Maoist Center secretariat member and Province 7 in-charge Lekhraj Bhatta said, “Discussion is underway and the party has not picked anybody for Maoist Center now. Our provincial meeting will sit before the first provincial assembly (February 4) and make the criteria for the selection of the chief minister. The capable and visionary candidates will be the first provincial chief minister.”
CPN (Maoist Center) leaders Birman Chaudhary, Maheshdatta Joshi and Jhapat Bohara are billed as the potential CM candidates from the province.
During the election Birman Chaudhary has been presented as the chief minister of the province-7. He is elected from Kailali 3 ‘B’. One of the Maoist politburo members agrees to the idea of making a Tharu the chief minister, he said this idea would give justice to Kailali and Kanchanpur, which have a predominant Tharu population.
Most of the party leaders have stressed that the CM should be represented from hilly region where the temporary capitals lies in Tarai. They argued that it will address the whole sentiments of Province-7. In this case, Jhapat Bohara, elected from Achham 1 'B' will become the first chief minister of Province 7.
Mahesh Dutta Joshi, elected from Kanchanpur 2 ‘A’ also has been seen as the front runners to lead the provincial government as the Maoist Center begins their search for future chief ministerial candidate from among more than a dozen hopefuls. Trilochan Bhatta elected from Doti 'B' is also eyeing for the post.
Maoist senior leader and former energy minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi elected from Kalikot ‘B’ and Naresh Bhandari elected from Jumla ‘A’ have been seen as two possible candidates for the post that party will induct in Province 6.
The size of the cabinet will be determined by the strength of provincial assembly of the respective province. According to the law, each provincial government can have a cabinet one fifth the size of the provincial assembly.