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Deuba expands his cabinet 7 weeks after its formation

By Our Reporter
Almost seven weeks after his appointment as the 40th Prime Minister of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba expanded his cabinet last Wednesday by inducting 19 new ministers.
Deuba was elected to the top executive post on June 6, and he had formed a small cabinet by inducting seven ministers—three each from Nepali Congress and the Maoist-Centre and one from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum.
However, he was unable to expand the cabinet owing to feud within his own party.
Finally, he expanded the cabinet by offering four ministerial posts to his rival faction in his own party.
Of the 19 new ministers, 10 are from the Nepali Congress, six from the Maoist-Centre, two from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum and one from CPN-United.
The ministers inducted from the NC included Bhimsen Das Pradhan as Minister for Defence,  Bir Bahadur Balayar as Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Min Bahadur Bishwakarma as Minister for Commerce, Mohan Bahadur Basnet as Minister for Information and Communications, Ram Krishna Yadav as Minister for Agricultural Development, Yagya Bahadur Thapa as Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Rajendra Kumar KC as Minister for Youth and Sports, Ambika Basnet as Minister for Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Sanjay Kumar Gautam as Minister for Irrigation and Mahendra Yadav as Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation.
Similarly, Giriraj Mani Pokharel as Minister for Health, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi as Minister for Energy, Asha Koirala as Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Development, Tek Bahadur Basnet as Minister for General Administration, Shiva Kumar Mandal as Minister for Supplies and Santa Kumar Tharu as Minister for Livestock Development were inducted from the Maoist-Centre.
Likewise, two ministers from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum– Jeetendra Narayan Dev as Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Gopal Dahit as Minister for Land Reforms and Management were added.
Mithila Chaudhary is given the portfolio of the Ministry for Population and Environment in the Deuba Cabinet, representing the CPN-United.
On June 7, Deuba had formed a small Cabinet by inducting seven ministers, including three Deputy Prime Ministers—Gopal Man Shrestha from NC, Krishna Bahadur Mahara from the Maoist-Centre and Bijay Kumar Gachhadar from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum.
Shrestha has been given the portfolio of  Education Ministry,  Mahara of Foreign Ministry and Gachchhadar of Federal affairs and Local Development.
Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Farmullah Mansoor from the NC were appointed as Minister for Finance and Minister for Labour and Employment respectively.
Likewise, Maoist-Centre leader Janardan Sharma was appointed as Minister for Home Affairs and Prabhu Sah was appointed as minister without portfolio. However, Sah was later offered the portfolio of the Urban Development Ministry.
Surprisingly, Deuba did not induct any minister from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party. It was widely expected that Deuba would appoint a few ministers from RPP, but he did not do that. NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi, who is close to PM Deuba, has been blamed for the omission of RPP from the cabinet.
Even within NC, Bal Bahadur KC, Dhanraj Gurung, Chin Kaji Shrestha and Arjun Joshi , who were portrayed as the candidates for the ministerial posts, were not appointed as ministers. Instead Mahendra Yadav became minister unexpectedly. He even got no time to change his dress to take oath of office while Joshi and Shrestha who had readied Daura Suruwal to wear during the swearing-in ceremony were denied the ministerial berths.
Deuba, who had drawn flak for forming the largest cabinet, has almost given a final shape to his cabinet by increasing it to a 27-member Council of Ministers.

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