Kathmandu, October 17
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today reshuffled the Cabinet, stripping ministers and ministers of state representing the CPN-Maoist Centre of their portfolios.
With this, CPN-MC ministers and state ministers have now become ministers without portfolio, while the recently-inducted ministers and state ministers representing the Rastriya Prajatantra Party have been assigned portfolios.
PM Deuba has kept with himself seven portfolios earlier assigned to the CPN-MC, including Home, Foreign Affairs, General Administration, Livestock Development, Science and Technology, Peace and Reconstruction, and Federal affairs and Local Development.
The Energy Ministry has been assigned to RPP Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa, while RPP leader Dipak Bohora has been given the Health portfolio.
Other ministers from RPP include Jayant Chand (Supplies), Dil Nath Giri (Urban Development), and Bikram Bahadur Thapa (Women, Children and Social Welfare).
Ministers for state from RPP include Bhaskar Bhadra (Energy), Sushil Shrestha (Supplies), Kanta Bhattarai (Women, Children and Social Welfare), and Kunti Kumari Shahi (Urban Development).
Mithila Chaudhary of the erstwhile CPN-United, which has now merged with the CPN-MC, has also been made minister without portfolio.
On October 13, the PM had inducted into his Cabinet four ministers and as many ministers of state from RPP, including RPP Chairman Thapa as DPM. At the time, the RPP ministers had not been assigned any portfolio.
The latest Cabinet reshuffle followed Prime Minister Deuba’s meeting with CPN-MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The former had asked the latter to recall ministers from his party.
Deuba had told Dahal that CPN-MC ministers would be made ministers without portfolio if they were not recalled.
After the meeting, the CPN-MC had planned to recall its ministers from the government, but later decided not to do so on the ground that the PM was planning to postpone elections.
CPN-MC leader Pampha Bhushal said her party was firm regarding its stand.
“It does not matter if our ministers have been made ministers without portfolio. We will not exit the government until we are assured elections will be held on the stipulated dates,” she said.
A version of this article appears in print on October 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.