NC to join Dahal-led government under the leadership of VP Khadka

Published On: March 26, 2023 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 26: Nepali Congress (NC) has decided to join the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government under the leadership of the party’s Vice President Purna Bahadur Khadka.

An office bearers’ meeting of the party held on Saturday took a decision to this effect. A senior NC leader said Vice President Khadka will lead the party in the Dahal-led cabinet as deputy prime minister and finance minister.

The leader said the meeting of party president, vice presidents and general secretaries scheduled for Sunday will take an official decision to this effect. 

“Today, the meeting took the decision in principle. Official decision to this effect will be taken by the office bearers’ meeting tomorrow [Sunday],” he said, asking not to be named.

Although the ministerial portfolio is yet to be finalized, the NC is likely to get eight ministries in its share. Along with Khadka, Sita Gurung, Dhana Raj Gurung, Dig Bahadur Limbu, Ram Hari Khatiwada, Prakash Sharan Mahat and N P Saud are likely to join the cabinet from NC.

Sources said Prime Minister Dahal has said that he would be able to give only seven ministries to the NC. However, the NC has insisted that the party as the largest party in parliament should get a minimum of eight ministries.

Sources said that preparations are underway to administer oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at 4 pm on Monday. 

“Although the process is taking a long time to settle the number of ministerial portfolios to each of the coalition parties, we hope to be able to give full shape to the cabinet by Monday,” said a senior Maoist Center leader.

Party insiders say Prime Minister Dahal is in a fix after even smaller parties in the ruling coalition have staked claim for several ministries. Along with NC, CPN (Unified Socialist), Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), Janata Samajbadi Party, Janamat Party and Loktantrik Samajwadi Party are also likely to join the government.

The NC and the Maoist Center had forged an electoral alliance during the parliamentary election held on November 20. But as the NC decided not to give the Maoist the government leadership for the first two years of the current term of parliament, the party chose to forge an alliance with the CPN-UML.

However, the Maoist Center changed its alliance with the UML and joined the NC in the presidential election. The UML ministers subsequently resigned after the Maoist Center endorsed NC candidate Ram Chandra Poudel as the new president.

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