Kathmandu, July 20
The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) reached agreement to allot party departments to former CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre after more than a year of their merger to form a single party.
Earlier, the party had decided to appoint former UML leaders as chiefs of 18 departments out of 32 departments.
It had decided to appoint leaders of former CPN-Maoist Centre as chiefs of remaining 14 departments.
The party, however, remains divided on allotting the Training Department to one of the former parties. The department plays crucial role in the indoctrination of the party’s rank and file.
Ishwar Pokharel the former UML leader and Narayan Kaji Shrestha the former CPN-Maoist Centre leader have claimed the position of the chief of the Training Department.
The two parties had merged in May 2018 to form the NCP, but had failed to allocate responsibilities to party leaders due to factional feud.
Although the party leaders reached agreement on the allocation of 32 departments to former UML and CPN-Maoist Centre leaders, they are yet to forge consensus on which leaders will lead those departments.
Departments allotted to the former CPN-UML include finance and planning, industry and commerce, election, justice, law and human rights,- tourism promotion and civil aviation, provincial affairs, physical infrastructure and transport management, youth and sports, foreign affairs, labour and employment, organisation, federal parliament, social welfare, cooperative and poverty alleviation, urban development, general administration, health and population, and policy.
The 14 departments allotted to the then CPN-Maoist Centre include consumer interest and import, agriculture and land management, fund and finance management, drinking water and sanitation, water resource, irrigation and hydropower, publicity and publication, library and archives,, political affairs and good governance, national security promotion, forest and environment, science and technology, education and human resource, literature, art and culture, and local levels.
Yesterday, six members representing the erstwhile CPN- UML — Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, Bishnu Paudel, Bamdev Gautam and Ishwar Pokharel — of the powerful nine member Central Secretariat had agreed to appoint senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal to lead the Foreign Affairs Department of the party.
They also agreed to appoint Khanal as head of the Policy and Research Institute of the party and Gautam as head of Organisation Department.
There was long tussle in the party for awarding Organisation Department to Gautam.
Earlier, Co-chair Oli didn’t support Gautam as chief of the department, whereas another Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who was supposed to support his long-time colleague Ram Bahadur Thapa, had supported Gautam for the post of chief of Organisation Department.
Devendra Paudel, a leader close to Dahal, told The Himalayan Times that the two co-chairs of the party Oli and Dahal were doing their homework to decide on the appointment of the department heads.
He said party leaders were trying to forge consensus on the person who would lead the Training Department.
He said the party’s secretariat meeting planned for tomorrow would come up with names of the in-charges and co-in-charges of all 77 districts.
“It will, however, take some time to choose the heads of the departments,” he said.
Bishnu Rijal, a leader close to Nepal, said that tomorrow’s meeting would not come up with the names of the department heads. “Tomorrow’s meeting will decide on who will be the in-charges and co-in-charges of the districts,” he said.
He also said there was a problem regarding school department.
“If this department implies more disputes, then the two co-chairs may keep it under them,” he added.
A version of this article appears in print on July 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.