Cabinet recommends guvs, names ad hoc ‘workstations’

KATHMANDU: The government today recommended governors of the seven provinces and named seven ‘temporary provincial workstations’.

A Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar designated Biratnagar as ‘temporary provincial workstation’ for Province 1, Janakpur for Province 2, Hetauda for Province 3, Pokhara for Province 4, Butwal for Province 5, Surkhet for Province 6 and Dhangadi for Province 7.

The Cabinet also recommended Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang as governor for Province 1, Ratneshwor Lal Kayastha for Province 2, Anuradha Koirala for Province 3, Baburam Kunwar for Province 4, Umakanta Jha for Province 5, Durga Keshar Khanal for Province 6 and Mohan Das Malla for Province 7.

The President will appoint the newly recommended governors and administer them oath of office and secrecy.

Appointment of province chiefs and naming of temporary provincial headquarters is crucial for holding the National Assembly elections, as the electoral college includes provincial assembly members who are yet to be sworn in due to the absence of governors.

According to the constitution, the Election Commission has to submit the final results of provincial assembly elections to governors who will then administer oath of office and secrecy to provincial assembly members at temporary provincial headquarters.

Talking to journalists after the conclusion of the Cabinet meeting, Minister for Information and Communications and Spokesperson for the government Mohan Bahadur Basnet said the government would immediately forward the recommendations to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari for endorsement.

Basnet added that the Cabinet took the decision after consulting all the political parties and it was based on their inputs. Referring to protests being held in several places across the country demanding provincial headquarters, he said it was not realistically possible for the government to satisfy all.

“It is the government’s responsibility to name provincial workstations to implement the federal governance system envisaged by the constitution,” said Basnet. “Elected provincial assembly members can of course change them with two-thirds majority.”

Basnet added that governors recommended by the government were ‘not politically active’, and were eminent persons who had made immense contribution to the country.

The Office of the President said the president would endorse the Cabinet recommendations as soon she received them. “Since this is an urgent issue, the president might endorse the Cabinet recommendations tomorrow itself despite it being a public holiday. If not tomorrow, the recommendations will be endorsed on Friday,” said the President’s Press Advisor Madhav Sharma.

Senior CPN-UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang said the provinces had the power to convert provisional headquarters into permanent headquarters or name new ones. “As far as the newly appointed governors are concerned, the President has the power to remove any of them any time. We do not want to comment on what the left alliance government will do with the newly announced names,” Nembang added. CPN-MC Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said provincial assemblies would name their permanent headquarters.

She said the government’s decisions had paved the way for formation of the National Assembly.

“Decisions of this government are of temporary nature,” she said, adding, “The new government will appoint new governors.”

Prof Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 1, is a Nepali Congress loyalist. Tumbahang, a Tribhuvan University professor of English, has resigned from his post with effect from Wednesday. He had contested mayoral election in Dharan Municipality in the first local election held after democracy was restored in 1990 but lost by a slim margin of 237 votes. Tumbahang, who hails from Dhankuta district, is a resident of Dharan Sub-metropolis.

Ratneshwar Lal Kayastha, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 2, has served as secretary of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal. He is a former member of National Planning Commission and a former government secretary. He is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, India, and Imperial College, London.

Anuradha Koirala, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 3, is the founder chief of Maiti Nepal. She is also a CNN Hero. She also received India’s Padma Shri award from former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee in April 2017. Hailing from Rumjatar, Okhaldhunga, Koirala joined the Nepali Congress a few weeks before the provincial and parliamentary elections.

Baburam Kunwar, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 4, is a former attorney general. Kunwar, a resident of Arghakhanchi district, is former chairperson of Democratic Lawyers Association, which is affiliated to the Nepali Congress. He was the AG when NC leader Sushil Koirala was the prime minister.

Umakant Jha, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 5, is a former government secretary. He hails from Dhanusha district. He has served as general secretary of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal. Jha’s son is married to daughter of RJP-N leader Mahantha Thakur. He was a minister in the cabinet led by former chief justice Khil Raj Regmi.

Durga Keshar Khanal, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 6, is a resident of Surkhet district and an NC loyalist. He had joined NC around the time two senior leaders of the party — Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ramchandra Paudel — joined the party.

Mohan Das Malla, who has been recommended as the governor of Province 7, is a former minister and a resident of Kailali. He is known for his social and political activism in the far-west.








Govt finalises provinces’ guvs and temporary HQs

KATHMANDU: The Cabinet meeting held today has finalised the appointment of the governors and fixed the temporary headquarters of the provinces.

The meeting at Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar fixed Biratnagar as the capital of Province 1, Janakpur as the capital of Province 2, Hetauda as the capital of Province 3 and Pokhara as the capital of Province 4.

Similarly the meeting declared Rupandehi, Surkhet, and Dhangadhi as the capitals of Provinces 5, 6 and 7 respectively.

Likewise, the same meeting appointed Govinda Subba as the Governor of Province 1, Ratneshwor Lal Kayasta as the Governor of Province 2, and Anuradha Koirala as the Governor of Province 3.

Similarly, the Cabinet meeting named Baburam Kunwar as the Governor of Province 4, Umakanta Jha as the Governor of Province 5, Durga Khanal as the Governor of Province 6, and Mohan Raj Malla as the Governor of Province 7.