Upendra Yadav, who is participating in a WHO conference as health minister, finds his portfolio changedHe says there was no prior consultation and that he will respond to the prime minister’s decision after returning home on Friday.
When Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday night, changing six ministers and three state ministers, Samajbadi Party Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav was in New Delhi.
Oli also swapped Yadav’s portfolio with Bhanubhakta Dhakal. Yadav has been sent from the Health Ministry to the Ministry for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, which was held by Dhakal. Dhakal has been brought to the Health Ministry.
The move has created quite an uproar in the Samajbadi Party.
“I will respond to the prime minister’s decision after I return to the country,” Yadav told the Post. “Oli had not held consultations with me regarding portfolio reallocation before I left Kathmandu.”
Yadav was in the Indian capital to attend a regional conference of the World Health Organisation in the capacity of minister for health and population.
Samajbadi Party, which was formed after the merger between Yadav’s Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai’s Naya Shakti Party Nepal, is currently debating whether to quit the government to press for its old agenda of constitutional amendments.
Though the party’s recently concluded central committee meeting was expected to take a decision on quitting the government, it did not, largely due to Yadav’s unwillingness.
The party’s federal council chairman Bhattarai has long been saying that the party should pull out of the government and join hands with like-minded forces, including the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, to launch protests for constitutional amendments.
“We will make a call after the party reviews the Cabinet reshuffle decision,” said Yadav. “The party’s decision will be final.”
Asked about his party leaders, including Bhattarai, dubbing Oli’s decision to reallocate the portfolio without prior notice as tyrannical and embarrassing, Yadav said, “in a democracy, everyone is free to express their views”.
Lately, relations between Yadav and Oli have strained especially after the former criticised the government from public forums.
Yadav, who arrived in Delhi on Tuesday, is scheduled to return to Kathmandu on Friday.