Gautam has expressed desire to be Deputy Prime Minister along with finance ministry portfolio in new cabinet reshuffle
KATHMANDU, Sept 3: The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has decided to nominate the party's Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam as a member of the National Assembly.
A meeting of the party's Secretariat held at the prime minister's official residence in Baluwatar made the decision to recommend the name of Gautam as the member of the upper house. The cabinet will now formally recommend the name of Gautam as one seat in the upper house lying vacant after the two-year term of incumbent Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada came to an end six months ago.
As per the provision in the existing constitution, the President can appoint three members in the upper house at the recommendation of the government. There are a total 59 members in the upper house.
With this decision of the NCP's Secretariat meeting, Finance Minister Khatiwada's stint as Finance Minister and Minister for Information and Communication Technology has now come to an end. As per the existing constitutional provision, a person cannot hold the post of minister for more than six month if he or she is not a member of the federal parliament.
Sources said Prime Minister K P Oli had made all possible efforts to retain Khatiwada as Finance Minister by recommending his name again for the appointment as a member of the upper house. But since majority members in the nine-member Secretariat body exerted pressure on him to recommend the name of Gautam as a member of the upper house, Prime Minister Oli had given up his stance.
It may be recalled that Oli could save his government last month after Gautam chose to side with him amid demand put forth by Chairman Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal to step down from the power. "The Prime Minister must have given up his initial stance in view of the fact that Gautam's support is crucial for him to secure a majority in the party's Secretariat body," said a leader close to rival faction in the party.
Prime Minister Oli is soon preparing to reshuffle his cabinet. Party insiders said Gautam has already expressed his desire to be Deputy Prime Minister along with the finance ministry portfolio in new cabinet reshuffle