SPN feels put off as PM reshuffles cabinet without consulting it

Published On: November 22, 2019 07:59 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 22: Samajwadi Party Nepal (SPN) leaders have accused Prime Minister KP Oli of disregarding coalition culture by keeping them in the dark about the cabinet reshuffle. Prime Minister Oli late Wednesday evening brought in nine new faces into the cabinet in the first major reshuffle since he took office in February last year. One of the major highlights of the reshuffle was change in the portfolio of SPN Chairman Upendra Yadav. Yadav, a deputy prime minister and health minister, has been shifted to the Ministry of Law. The party has also lost a state minister portfolio.

SPN leaders claim that the prime minister took the decision without consulting any of its leaders. 

“I am not aware of any consultation and I don’t think they consulted our party chairman [Yadav] who is currently in New Delhi to attend a function,” Ashok Rai, the party’s senior leader, told Republica.

There are speculations that the party may now be forced to rethink its position over its participation in the government. “It’s quite a humiliation. I think it would be a blunder to stick to the coalition after all that has happened,” a leader said.

Rai said that the party would decide what to do next once Yadav returns from Delhi. 

“We will take appropriate decision after holding internal discussion with cool heads,” said Rai. 

Sources said that Yadav, who has long ignored calls from party leaders to quit the government, would now be forced to rethink his position.

Last week, a gathering of the party had decided to continue in the government despite the party’s federal chairman Baburam Bhattarai’s formal proposal to leave the government.

In the written proposal, Bhattarai had stood in favor of withdrawing from the government if the government continues to ignore calls from various quarters to revise the constitution. He had also stressed need for taking forward the proposed merger with Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) and other regional parties. SPN and RJPN, partners in the ruling coalition, are also in talks to merge the two parties although the two sides still remain poles apart on numerous issue including leadership.

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