Bid to induct Gachhadar in jumbo Cabinet

Kathmandu, March 12

Ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre are trying to induct Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum–Democratic Chair Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar into the Cabinet, which already has 45 ministers.

A CPN-MC source said his party leaders were ready to offer Gachhadar one of the two ministries held by party leaders -- Ministry of Information and Communications or Ministry of Education but Gachhadar did not show interest in joining these ministries. According to a Nepali Congress source, Gachhadar is keen on Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, which is the portfolio of NC lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak.

The source said in the first round of talks, the NC did not offer Infrastructure and transport ministry to Gachhadar but there could be an agreement with Gachhadar and he would be inducted into the Cabinet. The source added that the ruling parties were trying to induct parties that are in the CPN-UML-led alliance, into the Cabinet. “I expect that all other parties except UML, Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and Rastriya Janamorcha will join the government,” the source added.

Another source said that the government was trying to induct more parties into the Cabinet in an attempt to muster two-third majority in the Parliament to pass the constitution amendment bill. The United Democratic Madhesi Front has served the government a one-week ultimatum threatening to withdraw support to the government if it failed to ensure passage of the constitution amendment bill and rescind its decision to hold local polls on May 14.

Meanwhile, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba held a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and discussed the constitution amendment bill and local polls.