Kathmandu, August 9

A CPN-Maoist Centre meeting held at Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s residence decided that Dahal, who is also the party’s chairman, should decide who all to appoint as Cabinet ministers from the party.

PM Dahal is preparing to expand the Cabinet by Thursday, according to his Personal Secretary Ramesh Malla. “If the Nepali Congress provides the names by then, the PM will give full shape to the Cabinet and if the NC fails to do so, he will expand the Cabinet by appointing ministers from CPN-MC only by Thursday and will induct NC’s ministers in the next expansion,” he said.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to recommend names from his party only after the voting of the Nepal Student Union’s central body is held, according to sources close to Deuba.

The NSU’s voting is likely to be held on Thursday if the closed session of its National General Convention, being delayed due to intra-party dispute, could begin tomorrow, according to NSU’s Spokesperson UP Lamichhane.

Deuba’s rival faction led by Ramchandra Paudel has already announced that no member from the faction would join the government until Deuba discussed the party’s position in the government in the party’s Central Working Committee meeting.

The CPN-MC will meet again on Thursday and PM Dahal is expected to finalise the names for ministerial berths from the party by then, according to Malla.

Five ministries information and communications; federal affairs and local development; women, children and social welfare; education and energy are allocated in the CPN-MC’s share as per the agreement between the NC and CPN-MC.

CPN-MC’s lawmakers Janardan Sharma, Ram Karki, Prabhu Sah, Dhani Ram Paudel and Hita Raj Pande are most likely to be picked from the party for the five ministries, according to party sources.

If ongoing attempts to forge consensus with Madhes-based parties succeed by the next Cabinet expansion, the PM will induct ministers from Madhes-based parties as well, according to Malla.

Although, Dahal was elected PM on August 3, he has not been able to give the Cabinet full shape.

The Cabinet is now a nine-member body including four from CPN-MC, two each from NC and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and one from CPN (United).