Kathmandu, November 23
Political analysts say the prime minister’s decision to reshuffle his Cabinet goes against his own concept of signing work performance contracts with his Cabinet colleagues.
A few months ago, the PM had signed contracts with Cabinet colleagues seeking their pledge to complete project work in time and enhance the efficiency of ministries.
Former chief secretary Bimal Koirala and political analyst Uddhab Pyakurel said the PM, who made the ministers sign contracts seeking their pledge to achieve development targets in time, should have reshuffled his Cabinet on the basis of his Cabinet colleagues’ performance, but the PM reshuffled his Cabinet before the work performance period ended.
The PM changed the portfolio of some ministers, fired some and inducted some new ministers in his Cabinet. “There is no correlation between the ministers’ performance and the recent Cabinet reshuffle,” Koirala said.
According to him, news reports that said the PM had dropped Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies from the new Cabinet due to difference of opinion on some issues indicated that the PM did not tolerate any differing opinion and he wanted only ‘yes men’ in his Cabinet.
“In western democracies, the executive head consciously inducts opposition leaders in the Cabinet with the objective of getting opposition voice in the Cabinet, but the PM’s message is just the opposite. He has dropped ministers who do not agree with him on some issues,” Koirala said.
Pyakurel said the PM’s idea of making his Cabinet colleagues and Cabinet secretaries sign performance agreement would not work as he had reshuffled his Cabinet without letting them work at least for a year on the assigned jobs. “We have seen secretaries who signed the performance agreement with ministers getting transferred from one ministry to another within two or three months,” he added.
Pyakurel said the PM’s decision to drop Minister of State for Health and Population Surendra Yadav and to change the portfolio of Samajwadi Party-Nepal Chair Upendra Yadav was aimed at giving the message to the SP-N that he did not want the SP-N to be a coalition partner.
Another political analyst Tula Narayan Shah said the PM’s decision to reshuffle his Cabinet would not make any difference as far as good governance and development goals were concerned. “If the PM wants to achieve the goals of development and good governance, he should focus on overhauling bureaucracy rather than reshuffling the Cabinet frequently,” he added. He said the reshuffle was done with the main aim of placating factional leaders of the PM’s own party.