PM may divest CPN-MC ministers of their portfolios

The PM wants CPN-MC ministers to quit the government on their own volition


Kathmandu, October 15

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to reshuffle the Cabinet and divest CPN-Maoist Centre ministers of their portfolios.

Sources at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers told THT that the prime minister wanted the CPN-MC ministers to leave the government on their own volition so that he could assign portfolios to newly appointed ministers from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, but if the CPN-MC ministers did not leave the government on their own volition, then the PM might divest them of their portfolios. The PM had appointed eight ministers from the RPP on Friday and he is yet to assign them their portfolios.

PM Deuba is under pressure from his own party cadres and leaders to sack CPN-MC ministers, mainly due to CPN-MC’s decision to forge electoral alliance with the main opposition CPN-UML.

A source at the PMO said the CPN-MC ministers might quit the government before the PM could take a decision on the matter. Another source at the PMO said it was immoral thing for the CPN-MC to oppose the current government and at the same time try to remain in the government.

The source said the prime minister had given adequate time to the CPN-MC to leave the government. “When the PM addressed the farewell meeting of the Parliament yesterday, he hinted his intention to reshuffle the Cabinet,” the source said and added that the CPN-MC should take its decision to withdraw from the government.

A secretariat meeting of the CPN-MC decided yesterday that it would continue to extend support to the current coalition government and would not withdraw from the government.

Hari Lamichhane, press adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, said the DPM had not made preparation to leave the government and he would abide by the party’s decision.

CPN-MC leader Mani Thapa said his party was a coalition partner as per the alliance deal signed with the Nepali Congress and if the prime minister divested the CPN-MC ministers of their portfolios or if he changed their portfolios, in that case, the CPN-MC ministers would quit the government.