Oli inducts four ministers from fringe parties

Kathmandu, December 24

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today inducted four ministers from fringe political parties and adjusted portfolios by splitting two ministries and adding a new one.

With today’s expansion, the number of ministers in his Cabinet reached 34, including 27 ministers, one minister without portfolio, four state ministers and two assistant ministers.

Newly-inducted ministers are Dipak Bohara of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Prem Bahadur Singh of Samajwadi Janata Party, Shiva Lal Thapa of Rastriya Janamukti Party and Eknath Dhakal of Nepal Pariwar Dal.

President Bidhya Bhandari administered oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at Shital Niwas in the presence of PM Oli, Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar and Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha. It is the fourth Cabinet expansion since Oli took over as PM on October 11.

Bohara was designated as Minister for Labour and Environment, Singh as Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation, Thapa as Minister for Science and Technology and Dhakal as minister without portfolio.

Oli designated minister without portfolio Shanta Manabi as Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, which Oli himself was looking after till now.

With the consent of today’s Cabinet meeting held in the afternoon, Oli split two ministries Health and Population and Science, Technology and Environment and created Ministry for Health; Ministry for Population and Environment and Ministry for Science and Technology.

Incumbent Health and Population Minister Ram Janam Chaudhari will be health minister and Minister for Science, Technology and Environment Bishwendra Paswan will be Minister for Population and Environment.

Oli inducted the fringe parties in the Cabinet at a time when the main opposition Nepali Congress and the United Democratic Madhesi Front are gradually coming closer and some NC leaders have been predicting that the Oli-led government would not last long.

CPN-United that has three members in the Parliament had withdrawn its support to the government on Tuesday blaming that the government for failing to control black-marketing and solving national problems.

“The PM inducted the fringe parties in the government to ensure their support,” a government minister told THT.

Sources close to PM Oli said he was likely to induct four state ministers from CPN-UML tomorrow.

Meanwhile, today’s Cabinet meeting decided to accept Rs 2.57 billion assistance to be provided by European Union to implement Hatemalo Programme for improvement of nutrition, according to Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai.