Karnali Province: CPN (Maoist Center) warns to withdraw from ruling coalition if not given four ministerial berths

Published On: December 8, 2021 02:15 PM NPT By: Republica

SURKHET, Dec 8: The government of Karnali Province has not been able to take full shape due to the disagreements seen in the distribution of ministerial berths among the coalition partners - Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center), and CPN (Unified Socialist). 

NC’s parliamentary party leader in the province, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, who was elected as the Chief Minister of Karnali Province on November 2 has appointed just one leader each from the CPN (Maoist Center) and CPN (Unified Socialist) respectively, to the cabinet so far. 

There are a total of eight ministries including the offices of the chief minister and the council of ministers in Karnali Province. CPN (Maoist Center) has 13 lawmakers,  the highest number among the coalition parties in the province and has been claiming four ministries under their party. Likewise, the CPN (Unified Socialist), who have three lawmakers, are claiming three ministries for their party.  

Meanwhile, the NC have been claiming two ministries for their party apart from the post of CM. Chandra Bahadur Shahi from CPN (Unified Socialist) was appointed to the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative, two weeks after Shahi's appointment to the post of CM. Bindaman Bista from CPN (Maoist Center) was chosen for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning a month after Shahi’s appointment as the CM. 

Due to the disagreements in the ruling coalition over the distribution of ministerial berths, CM Shahi has been overseeing the works of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Development, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources Development, Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment, and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law. 

Meanwhile, the CPN (Maoist Center) has warned to withdraw from the coalition if they don't receive four ministerial berths in the provincial cabinet. Former minister Bimla KC opined that the ministerial berths should be distributed among the coalition partners according to their status in the provincial assembly. 

Similarly, the CPN (Unified Socialist) has been requesting the distribution of ministerial-berths according to the agreement reached on April 15. Before CM Shahi took the vote of confidence in the provincial parliament, an agreement was reached to elect three lawmakers to join the government from Madhav Kumar Nepal’s UML faction. Under the agreement,  three lawmakers were made ministers from Nepal's faction under the leadership of Mahendra Bahadur Shahi. 

It was also decided that the CPN (Maoist Center) would hold three ministries including the post of province’s CM while the NC would receive just one ministry. There were just seven members in Karnali Province government at the time of the agreement. After winning the vote of confidence, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi split the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Development into two and formed the Ministry of Energy and Water Resource Development. 

Furthermore, former minister for physical infrastructure and development and province chief of CPN (Unified Socialist)  Ammar Bahadur Thapa claimed that the distribution of ministries should be carried out according to the agreement reached on April 15.  “The names of the ministries are also stated in the 11-point agreement made on April 15. We will join the government after claiming the three ministries. The coalition formed as per the 11-point agreement cannot refuse to implement the past agreements,” Thapa said.


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