August 20, 2016 12:20 AM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
Nepali Congress flag
KATHMANDU, Aug 20: Major ruling partner Nepali Congress (NC) has intensified internal homework for finalizing the list of new ministers from the party after the conclusion of the general convention of the party's student wing, Nepal Student Union.
Party leaders have said that names of additional ministers from the party will be recommended to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday afternoon. During the power-sharing deal with the CPN (Maoist Center), it was decided that NC would be given 13 ministries. Bimalendra Nidhi as deputy prime minister and minister for home affairs and Ramesh Lekhak as minister for physical infrastructure and transportation are representing NC in the Dahal-led government.
“We are discussing the names of several leaders to be appointed as new ministers and state ministers. We are aiming to finalize the list by Monday afternoon,” said a leader, who is close to party President Sher Bahadur Deuba. The leader further stated that the party president would finalize the names of office bearers from the party simultaneously.
“Some differences with senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel have surfaced over the proposed names of ministers. Party president may take some days to talk with Paudel,” said another NC leader.
Deuba has proposed two ministers for Paudel and one for Krishna Sitaula faction while Paudel has been demanding three to four and Sitaula wants two ministers from his camp.
NC leaders have been mulling to recommend Balkrishna Khand as minister for tourism, Shekher Koirala or Prakash Sharan Mahat as minister for foreign affairs and Arjun Narsingh KC as education minister.
Sita Devi Yadav, Kamala Panta have been proposed as ministers from the Paudel faction.
Bhimsen Das Pradhan, Mahendra Yadav, Ambika Basnet are likely to get appointed as new ministers. Leaders are also discussing the possibility of recommending the names of Farmullah Mansoor, Ramhari Khatiwada, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi and Bir Bahadur Balayar.
Sita Gurung, Jeevan Shahi, Sujata Pariyar, Ratna Serchen and Bhisma Raj Angdembe, Sudheer Siwakoti are likely to be appointed either as ministers or state ministers, said an NC leader familiar with the development.
NC leader Ramhari Khatiwada, speaking at an interaction in the capital on Friday, said that, the party is likely to finalize the list of new ministers after Sunday.
Deuba discusses over appointing party office bearers
NC President Deuba has also started homework for appointing office bearers in the party after finalizing the list of ministers. Bimalendra Nidhi, Khum Bahadur Khadka and Gopal Man Shrestha are in the fray to become vice presidents of the party. Likewise, party leaders say that one among Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Purna Bahadur Khadka is likely to be appointed as general secretary. Gagan Thapa is to be announced joint general secretary of the party, said a leader.
“As Paudel-led panel had just secured 31% votes during the general convention and the faction already has one elected general secretary and a treasurer, most of the office bearers will be appointed from the party establishment at this time,” said a leader.