CPN-UML's Bhim Prasad Acharya has been appointed chief minister of Province 1.

He replaced Sherdhan Rai. Acharya was administered oath of office and secrecy by governor Somnath Pyasi Adhikari as per the constitution.

Interestingly, Acharya was selected leader of the CPN- UML parliamentary party today itself. Upon being selected parliamentary party leader with the proposal of former CM Rai, Acharya acceded to the post of chief minister as soon as Rai stepped down.

Speaking to journalists briefly while assuming office today, Acharya, who was elected PA member from Sunsari Constituency 1 (B), said everything had to be done in a rush and clarified that the only motivation for the rush was to save party unity.

"We had to take all decisions in such a rush, because we had to save our party and its unity," the newly appointed CM said, adding, he was concerned about maintaining stability. Further, he said he would soon expand the Cabinet.

Though the CPN-UML has a comfortable majority in the Provincial Assembly, it's yet unclear how long Acharya's government will last. It is yet to be seen how many PA members will side with Madhav Kumar Nepal, who has already registered a new party by dissociating himself from the CPN-UML.

Going by the present scenario, UML has a clear majority with 51 members in the 93-strong provincial assembly. But if even a small number, six, defect to Nepal's newly formed party, UML's government is sure to lose its majority.

Meanwhile, the opposition alliance has protested the appointment of Acharya as CM saying it was unconstitutional of former CM Rai to resign and immediately appoint Acharya in his stead.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 27 2021, of The Himalayan Times.