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Cabinet expansion delayed due to rift in NC

By Our Reporter
NC-Leader-DeuwaPrime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has been unable to expand his cabinet even in six weeks after he was elected to the top post on June 6.
The growing rift between two factions– the Ram Chandra Poudel-led faction and Deuba-led group within the NC is attributed for the delay.
When the Poudel camp has demanded at least four ministers, PM Deuba is ready to offer only three ministers to Poudel camp. Likewise, two other groups—one led by Khum Bahadur Khadka another by Krishna Sitaula are asking for at least one minister for their leaders.
Deuba, who has been unable to appoint office bearers in the party even 16 months after he became party president has exhibited same incompetency in expanding the cabinet.
Being unable to select the ministers from his party, Deuba has said that he would expand the cabinet only after endorsing the constitution amendment bills.
This was made clear by Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara while addressing a function in Chitwan on Sunday.
Prime Minister Deuba and Maoist-Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have been exercising to endorse the constitution amendment bill without receiving support from CPN-UML. The two leaders have already held meetings with the RPP and other fringe parties regarding the amendment bill. However, RPP has not decided its stance on the bill.
Sources said that RPP chairman Kamal Thapa is bargaining for the post of Deputy Prime Minister. He would support the bill only if he was given the portfolio of DPM. This must be reason why PM Deuba and Dahal decided to expand the cabinet after the endorsement of the controversial bill.
Earlier, the two leaders had prepared to endorse the bill on the first week of June but withdrew their move when 10 lawmakers from the RPP went missing just a day before the voting. This time too the RPP members are likely to disobey the party whip.
Moreover, any effort to amend the bill without taking the UML into confidence may turn suicidal for the two ruling parties. The UML has been reiterating that it will leave no stone unturned to fail the bill. As such, endorsing the bill by the ruling parties will be a difficult task until UML opposes it.
Again, the UML emerged as the most popular party in the recently held local polls. The people gave vote to UML because of its stance against the constitution amendment bill which consists of some controversial provisions.  Hence, amending the constitution will be against the people’s mandate. And if the constitution gets amended, the two ruling parties are sure to suffer further in the provincial and federal elections. Moreover, if one or two MPs from the ruling coalition remain absent during the voting, the bill is sure to fail.

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