Ila Sharma dismayed over Singh's appointment as minister

Kathmandu, January 20

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma has expressed her dismay over induction of Prem Bahadur Singh as new Cabinet minister though his Samajwadi Janata Party's registration was annulled by the EC.

Singh is the chairman of the fringe party and its sole representative in the Parliament.

Singh was administered the oath of office and secrecy as Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation by President Bidya Devi Bhandari yesterday.

PM Dahal inducted him in his Cabinet in an apparent bid to endorse the statute amendment bill. "We annulled his party's registration for not furnishing audit report," Sharma said at a seminar in the capital today. "It is an ethical question on his fitness to be a minister."

Samajwadi Janata Party was de-registered and fined Rs 100 last year for not furnishing annual income and expenditure details to the EC. The decision was duly informed to the Parliament Secretariat.

Sudarsan Kuikel, spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat, told THT it was pointless to make any position on his status as lawmaker when his case was subjudice in the Supreme Court.

Singh had moved the Supreme Court against the EC's decision. Talking to this daily, Singh claimed that the EC had no authority to annul his party's registration as per the new statute.