Koirala told Deuba that he would not join the Cabinet if not given the foreign ministry
Kathmandu, August 4
Nepali Congress leader Arjun Narsingh KC, who was a candidate for general secretary in the 13th General Convention of the party from Sher Bahadur Deuba panel, declined the offer of a ministerial berth today made by the party president.
According to sources, KC had lobbied Deuba for deputy prime minister with home portfolio in CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led Cabinet but since Deuba had picked Bimalendra Nidhi for the same portfolio with the rank of DPM, he conveyed to KC that he could either become health minister or defence minister but KC declined the offer. KC, who was close to Koirala camp for long, had joined Deuba camp last year.
According to sources, Shekhar Koirala, who was tipped to become the minister of foreign affairs, received a call from Deuba, saying he could get any other portfolio but foreign affairs.
According to sources, Deuba made this offer after he was informed that foreign affairs portfolio would be kept vacant for some time for a Madhesi party.
According to source, Koirala told Deuba that he would not join the Cabinet if not given the foreign ministry but added that he would have no grudges about it. “You will have my support even if I do not join the Cabinet. You choose the nominees you think are appropriate for the job,” the source quoted Koirala as telling Deuba.
According to sources, the NC and the CPN-MC want the portfolio to remain vacant for some time so that it could be offered to Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chair Upendra Yadav if he decides to join the government.
KC and Koirala could not be contacted for comments.
CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said his party would nominate its representatives in the Cabinet in the next two to three days. Shrestha said there was no dispute within the party on who should be the ministers.
“We are trying to ensure inclusion in the nomination and we are also trying to nominate lawmakers who could perform better,” Shrestha said and added that there was no bar on those who have already served in the previous cabinets.
Shrestha said the NC leaders communicated to them that they would make their final list only after the General Convention of Nepal Students Union, a sister wing of the NC, was over.
He said the party chose only three members in the new Cabinet today just to match the Nepali Congress nominees in the Cabinet.
As per the understanding between the NC and the CPN-MC, the former will get 13 portfolios and the latter will get eight ministries. KC and Koirala could not be contacted for comments.
Meanwhile, Ramchandra Paudel held a meeting of his loyalists and decided not to send anybody from his camp to the Cabinet until Deuba discussed the criteria for sending party MPs to the Cabinet.
A version of this article appears in print on August 05, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.