Cabinet expansion: 13 ministries for Congress, Maoist Centre to get 9A meeting of top leaders of the ruling coalition—Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre)—on Tuesday finalised the number of ministries for them and other parties.
A meeting of top leaders of the ruling coalition—Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre)—on Tuesday finalised the number of ministries for them and other parties.
According to senior NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi, the Congress party will get 13 ministries and the Maoist Centre will lead nine.
Finance, education, labour, physical infrastructure and transportation, information and communication, irrigation, water supplies, defence, youth and sports, general administration, commerce, cooperatives and poverty alleviation, and women, children and social welfare portfolios will be led by the NC, according to the agreement reached between the coalition partners. The Maoist Centre will take foreign, home, energy, agriculture, health, urban development, law, livestock and supplies ministries, according to Nidhi.
The ruling coalition has also decided to allocate two more ministries—tourism and land reform—to Nepal Loktantrik Forum, whose Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachhadar is already a deputy prime minister and minister for federal affairs and local development.
According to Nidhi, the NCP (Samyukta) will get the Ministry of Environment.
The meeting also decided to allocate four ministries to the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal.
“For now, PM Deuba will keep these ministries with himself,” said Nidhi. “The four ministries have, however, been allocated for the RPP and SSF-N if they decide to join the government. We can also reconsider the number of ministries for these two parties. We will hold talks with these parties soon.”
The ministries that tentatively could go to the RPP and SSF-N are industry, forest, peace and reconstruction, and science and technology.
But Cabinet expansion will depend on one more round of talks with the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N).
Though the ruling parties have already told the RJP-N that constitution amendment is not possible at this point of time, they want to know whether the agitating party wants the government to put the constitution amendment bill to vote in Parliament.
“If the RJP-N gives the consent to put the constitution amendment bill to vote, Cabinet expansion could be delayed by three days. If the party does not want the bill to be put to vote, PM Deuba will expand his Cabinet on Wednesday,” said Nidhi.
The ruling coalition though had promised the RJP-N that it would amend the constitution, it lacks the required numbers in Parliament, as the opposition bloc led by the CPN-UML, which is against constitution amendment, commands at least 196 votes in 593-strong Parliament. The governing parties need 397 votes to pass the constitution amendment bill, which at present looks difficult.
PM Deuba, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli are set to hold talks with RJP-N leaders on Wednesday morning to explore the possibility of constitution amendment.
Tuesday’s meeting of the top leaders of the ruling coalition also decided to form the Constitution Delimitation Commission on Thursday.
Who’ll get what
- Physical Infrastructure and Transportation
- Information and Communication
- Water Supplies
- Youth and Sports
- General Administration
- Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation
- Women, Children and Social Welfare
- Urban Development
- Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs
- Tourism and Civil Aviation
- Land Reform
- Ministry of Environment
RPP and SSF-N (likely)
- Peace and Reconstruction
- Science and Technology