DPM post for Sujata Koirala

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today promoted Minister for Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala to the post of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM). It is the eighth reshuffle of the CPN-UML led government.

NC leaders, however, said that they were caught unawares of the appointment. Saying that it was against party policy, they came down heavily against both the PM and NC president Girija Prasad Koirala for promoting favouritism and nepotism while appointing her to the post.

The PM made her the DPM following repeated

requests from her father and NC president GP Koirala, sources said. NC president Koirala had requested the PM for the same during their latest meeting on Saturday.

Koirala is the second woman DPM after late Sailaja Acharya. Sources close to the PM said that she would be second in the ranking of the DPM as another DPM Bijay Kumar Gachhadar was already there in the first rank.

Immediately after the announcement of the appointment, PM Nepal administered oath of office and secrecy to Koirala

at the Office of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav at Shital Niwas in the latter’s presence this evening.

“Although our party was in the fourth position earlier, it has become the second now with this appointment,” said the DPM Koirala after the swearing in ceremony. Asked about the protest against her within her own party, she said, “No one protested in the central committee meeting, when a proposal was presented about it,” she claimed.

She also claimed that majority of the leaders in

the party were encouraged and were supporting her appointment.

However, party spokesperson Arjun Narasingh KC said, “Neither the party was informed nor had it staked claims for the post of DPM in organisational level. It’s strange as the PM appointed her as the DPM ignoring our party organisation. The party’s central committee will certainly discuss about it.”

PM Nepal said that the party president Koirala had asked him to provide the NC the post of DPM and he made the appointment supposing that it was their party’s demand.

Meanwhile, 10 NC leaders, including Gagan Thapa and Chandra Bhandari, strongly criticised president Koirala for recommending her daughter as the DPM.

NC acting president Sushil Koirala, vice president Ram Chandra Paudel, including a majority

of NC leaders, had been opposing president Koirala’s attempt to promote his daughter to the DPM.”

“The PM had also sought NC’s organisational decision to promote her to the post. However, he eventually gave in to the demand of NC president Koirala as an attempt to garner support for the incumbent government after his denial might worsen the relationship with the NC,” sources claimed. A few months ago, Sujata had denied accompanying the PM during his India visit after he denied promoting her to the DPM.