Kathmandu, July 18
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is most likely to expand his Cabinet tomorrow.
A meeting of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre held this evening at the PM’s official residence finalised ministerial berths to be shared by the two parties in the Cabinet led by PM Deuba.
NC leader Ramesh Lekhak told THT that his party would take 13 ministries, including the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. The NC already has the ministries of finance, education, and labour and employment.
The CPN-MC, on the other hand, will get nine ministries, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture Development, the Ministry of Energy. the Ministry of General Administration, the Ministry of Livestock Development and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, according to Lekhak.
The party’s lawmakers are already heading the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development.
Lekhak said the NC and the CPN-MC would meet Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal leaders in Baluwatar tomorrow to discuss constitution amendment before expanding the Cabinet.
The PM could not expand his Cabinet earlier due to power-sharing disputes between his party and the coalition partner, CPN-MC.
It is learnt that the CPN-MC has already finalised names of its ministers to be sent to the Cabinet.
According to a CPN-MC source, the party is most likely to send Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, Tek Bahadur Basnet, Mahendra Bahadur Sahi, Shyam Kumar Shrestha, Asha Khanal and Shiva Kumar Mandal to the Deuba-led Cabinet.
It is also learnt that the NC has recommended Bhimsen Das Pradhan, Mohan Basnet, Ram Krishna Yadav, Kamala Devi Panta, Bal Bahadur KC, Rajan KC, Dipak Khadka and Min Bahadur Bishwokarma for Cabinet berths.
The PM’s Chief Personal Secretary Bhanu Deuba said the final decision on Cabinet expansion would be taken only after the meeting with RJP-N leaders tomorrow morning.
CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma and Barshaman Pun represented the CPN-MC in the meeting, while the NC was represented by PM Deuba, Bimalendra Nidhi and Ramesh Lekhak.
Earlier, the two parties had formed a task force comprising Mahara, Pun, Nidhi and Lekhak to forge power-sharing deal.
A version of this article appears in print on July 19, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.