Kathmandu, July 19
Six members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Secretariat, who were associated with former CPN-UML, reached a conclusion last night to nominate Madhav Kumar Nepal as the chief of Foreign Affairs Department and Bamdev Gautam as the chief of Organisation Department of the party.
According to three top NCP sources, six leaders who reached the understanding last night included Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Bamdev Gautam, Jhalanath Khanal, Bishnu Paudel and Ishwar Pokharel. With this agreement, PM Oli has succeeded to avoid tussle of power with Nepal and Gautam, who had been demanding their pound of flesh in the power sharing deal.
Three other members of the nine-member NCP Secretariat include Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
The ruling party has 32 departments out of which former UML leaders can head 18 departments and former CPN-MC leaders can lead 14 departments. NCP source said as per the understanding, former UML and CPN-MC will choose their leaders to head the departments.
Former prime minister Nepal is one of the powerful leaders of the ruling party. Gautam, who had supported PM Oli’s bid to win party’s presidency, got disenchanted with him as the PM failed to make him Parliamentary party leader. Recently Gautam was drawing closer to party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
PM Oli was initially averse to the idea of naming Gautam as the head of the party’s Organisation Department, but eventually he changed his mind due to emerging power equation within the party.
A meeting of the Secretariat scheduled for Sunday is expected to formally endorse the decision.
Ruling party leaders have agreed to allow former UML leaders to lead 18 departments and former CPN-MC leaders to lead 14 departments. Party leaders have not reached an agreement on leaders who will lead other departments, including the party’s Training Department. Party sources said Ishwar Pokharel and Narayan Kaji Shrestha have rival claims on this department.
A version of this article appears in print on July 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.