The much anticipated issue of Cabinet reshuffle was not discussed in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Secretariat meeting today.

Spokesperson for the NCP Narayan Kaji Shrestha told mediapersons after the Secretariat meeting that neither the secretariat discussed the issue in the meeting nor did Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli bring the issue for discussion. He said the two co-chairperson – Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal — might have been discussing Cabinet reshuffle along the lines of suggestions made in the party’s Standing Committee meeting a few days ago.

Dahal had told the PM in the Standing Committee meeting that he favoured major reshuffle in the Cabinet indicating that most of the Cabinet members should be replaced.

A source close to Dahal told THT that Dahal still held the view that most of the Cabinet members should be replaced, while Oli was in favour of changing only a few members of his Cabinet. Shrestha said the Secretariat meeting discussed the recent ambassadorial nominations and appointments that the government made recently.

The government had recommended former finance minister Yubaraj Khatiwada as Nepal’s ambassador to the US, former chief secretary Lok Darshan Regmi as Nepal’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Nirmal Kumar Bishwakarma as Nepal’s Ambassador to South Africa.

Shrestha said that the Secretariat would offer some suggestions in the next meeting about the nominations of ambassadors and appointments in constitutional bodies.

The rival faction of the NCP led by party Co-chair Dahal wants the prime minister to follow the party’s directives on governance issues, including political appointments, but the PM does not want interference in his day to day work.

Shrestha did not say which member of the Secretariat said what about the government’s decision to recommend ambassadors. PM Oli did not consult Dahal and other Secretariat members before nominating the ambassadors.

According to Shrestha, the party Secretariat discussed the ongoing protest by Doctor Govinda KC.

NCP Secretariat supported the government’s view that the previous agreement signed between KC and the government about reforms in the medical sector is being implemented by the government and hence KC should end his hunger strike and discuss other demands after the COVID-19 challenge is over, Shrestha said. He said the PM informed the Secretariat meeting that he had sent the Education secretary to hold talks with Govinda KC.

He said the Secretariat also discussed party unity issues.

Feature image: File

A version of this article appears in e-paper on October 7, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.