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Prime Minister Dahal fails to fully expand his cabinet

oathBy Our Reporter
Even a fortnight after the formation of the government, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been unable to expand his cabinet.
Although he inducted five ministers and four state ministers from his party this week making his cabinet 18-member in three attempts, no minister was added from the Nepali Congress owing to rift within the NC.
Even within the Prime Minister’s party, dispute has further deepened following the induction of the five ministers.  Dahal on Sunday appointed Janardhan Sharma (Energy), Surendra Kumar Karki (Information and Communications), Hit Raj Pande (Federal Affairs and Local Development), Ajay Shanker Nayak (Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs) and Dhani Ram Poudel as minister without portfolio.
Maoist leader Prabu Sah refuted to become minister when he was denied the portfolio he wanted. He openly stood against Prime Minister Dahal’s move to induct the new ministers. Likewise, Rekha Sharma, whose performance remained excellent while leading the General Administration Ministry under Prime Minister Oli, has expressed her ire for not appointing any woman as minister.
The women lawmakers of CPN-Maoist Centre formed a group to oppose Dahal’s decision to exclude women from the cabinet. However, Dahal appointed Radhika Tamang and Dhana Maya BK as state ministers.  Two other state ministers inducted in the cabinet are Shree Prasad Jabegu and Satya Narayan Bhagat.
NC president Deuba is in bigger trouble as he has to satisfy many leaders while appointing ministers from his party. Arjun Narasingh KC, Gopal Man Shrestha and Krishna Sitaula who were expecting to lead the party in the government are not happy with Deuba. KC rejected to become Defense Minister demanding that he be given the portfolio of people-related ministry. As a result, Deuba had to convince Prime Minister Dahal to not appoint Education Minister from his party. It is said that Deuba exchanged Health Ministry with Education Ministry to meet the demand of KC. While the leaders within Deuba camp are divided over the nomination of ministers, Ram Chandra Poudel has been demanding that 40 per cent of the ministers representing NC should be from his camp.
While being unable to select the ministers, NC decided to nominate ministers only after the general convention of the Nepal Students Union. But the Union’s convention itself has been marred by disputes within the party. Even a week after the convention began, the convention has not concluded yet.

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