Kathmandu, August 21

Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to name 11 new ministers and seven state ministers from his party on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“As Deuba is planning to fly to Singapore on Wednesday for his regular health check-up, he will send names to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday. If not on Tuesday, he will do so on Wednesday before his flight,” said sources close to Deuba.

Deuba is likely to name Sita Devi Yadav, Arjun Narsingh KC, Prakash Sharan Mahat, Bal Krishna Khand, Jivan Bahadur Shahi, Mohan Bahadur Basnet, Dipak Giri and Keshav Kumar Budhathoki for ministerial berths. He has urged Shekhar Koirala to take any of the portfolios allotted to NC except the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Deuba is considering Mahat for MoFA, according to sources.

Deuba has asked Ramchandra Paudel to give three ministers’ names from his faction, according to sources. He has also sought a minister’s name from another NC faction led by Krishna Prasad Sitaula.

Paudel, however, is seeking at least six ministers from his faction. Two leaders – Bimalendra Nidhi and Ramesh Lekhak – have already become ministers from Deuba’s side and the party is yet to name 11 ministers.

“There is no trend of holding discussion on the criteria of ministerial candidates at the party’s Central Working Committee as in communist parties. Deuba will simply seek names from Paudel and even if he does not provide the names the NC president will select at least three ministers from Paudel’s  side on his own,” said sources close to Deuba.

Asked about the exercise of picking ministers from Paudel’s side, Paudel said no talks were held with Deuba in this regard. “Deuba and I will talk on this in a day or two. Conclusive talk about the matter are yet to be held,” Paudel said.

Although, two ministers were nominated from NC, the party is yet to name others nearly three weeks after Dahal was elected the prime minister on August 3.

It has taken so long for Deuba to name ministers from the NC, as he wanted to pick names without affecting chances of leaders from his faction getting elected in polls for the NC’s student wing, Nepal Student Union, that concluded on Thursday.

Party posts

KATHMANDU: Sher Bahadur Deuba is preparing to nominate leaders to some vital positions of Nepali Congress after he returns from Singapore.

He is preparing to nominate one vice-president from among Bimalendra Nidhi, Khum Bahadur Khadka and Gopal Man Shrestha, and one general secretary from among Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Purna Bahadur Khadka, according to sources close to Deuba.