KATHMANDU, July 15: After entering into a formal agreement on forming a new government under the leadership of CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, leaders from Nepali Congress (NC), the largest political party in the Parliament, and the Maoist Center have now stepped up negotiations over sharing ministerial portfolios in the to-be-formed government.
According to the two-party discussions held so far, Maoist Center will get eight ministries, including the post of prime minister and finance minister, in the new government. Similarly, the NC will get 12 ministries, including the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“Sharing of other ministries, except finance and home, is yet to be finalized as we are trying to include the parties under United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) in the new government,” said a leader requesting anonymity.
Both the NC and the Maoist Center leaders have approached the UDMF leaders, seeking their support for passing no confidence motion against the Prime Minister K P Oli and taking part in the new government.
“They have sought a written request from us. Though they are ready to support the no-confidence motion from the parliament, they are undecided about joining new government,” said a NC leader.
Following the joint request from NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, UDMF lawmakers signed on the no confidence motion on Wednesday. According to parliament secretariat, 19 lawmakers from the UDMF have signed on the no confidence motion.
According to senior leaders of both the parties, various fringe parties in the parliament have assured to support their coalition for toppling K P Oli-led present government and forming a new one.
“We are just focusing on passing the no confidence motion at first. We hope needn't work hard to garner the majority in the parliament,” said NC leader Prakash Saran Mahat.
According to party interlocutors Bimalendra Nidhi, Krishna Sitaula, Sitadevi Yadav, Ramesh Lekhek, Balkrishna Khand, Farmullah Mansoor, Shekher Koirala, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, Kamala Panta, Ramhari Khatiwada are vying for minister posts in the government. However, the party has not formally discussed over any individuals so far. “Party leaders have been pressing the president either to send the party under the leadership of leader Nidhi or appoint him party vice president and send the party in the government in the leadership of Sitaula,” said a leader.
Maoist Center leaders claim that, there is no debate on the name of party leaders Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Janardan Sharma for the new ministers. Some other influential leaders are also vying ministerial portfolio in the party. The party has convened the party headquarters meeting on Friday to discuss over formation of new government and other issues.
Meanwhile, issuing a joint statement NC and CPN (Maoist Center) on Thursday warned the government against making any important decisions.
Stating that the government has already been reduced to a caretaker status, the two parties have urged the government to limit itself to running only day-to-day official activities.