Nepal | January 23, 2021

NCP leaders term Cabinet reshuffle an example of PM’s unilateral approach

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Kathmandu, October 15

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reshuffled his Cabinet without seeking the consent of Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and without discussing the issue at the party Secretariat meeting.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had accepted the proposal to reshuffle the Cabinet yesterday on the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli. NCP leaders Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Krishna Gopal Shrestha and Lilanath Shrestha were inducted as new ministers in the Cabinet.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said Dahal had told him that he had given a nod for the Cabinet reshuffle yesterday. According to Shrestha, Dahal had said in the Standing Committee meeting that massive reorganisation of the Cabinet was necessary to deliver services to the public as the government had already crossed half of its term.

Dahal had also told the PM that performance of the ministers should be evaluated and only those ministers that have been able to live up to the expectation should be retained and others should be replaced by new faces. Shrestha said the issue of Cabinet reshuffle would likely be raised in the next meeting of the party bodies, particularly the Secretariat.

NCP Standing Committee member Yubaraj Gyawali, who is close to senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said the Standing Committee had decided that the PM would have free hand in day to day affairs, but all important appointments and reshuffle of the Cabinet should be done only with the consent of the two co-chairs and advice of the party Secretariat, but the PM did not abide by those decisions.

“The PM did not consult the party for nominating ambassadors recently neither did he discuss the Cabinet reshuffle in the party Secretariat,”

Gyawali said, “The PM has repeated his old style of acting unilaterally without seeking the consent of other leaders and without discussing key issues in the party.”

Gyawali said PM Oli’s unilateral actions would be raised in the party bodies’ meeting and contradictions could resurface in the party.

Majority members of the Standing Committee recently had asked the PM to quit both the posts- prime minister and party co-chair. They did not take a formal decision to remove the PM from both the posts, but their demands were certainly important issues that the PM should not have forgotten, Gyawali added. He said it was the party’s responsibility to allocate work to key party leaders and cadres. “There may be some factional interests behind the selection of the Cabinet members but the key question is that party’s decision should be followed by everybody,” he added.

Another Standing Committee member Lilamani Pokharel said the Standing Committee had decided to reshuffle the federal and provincial cabinets in order to bring capable leaders, who could deliver services to help the public meet their immediate needs.

“The PM does not appear to have followed the Standing Committee’s decisions while reshuffling his Cabinet,” he said.

A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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