ITAHARI, SEPTEMBER 1
With the formal defection of 10 Provincial Assembly (PA) members to the newly formed CPN (United Socialist), CPN (UML)'s Chief Minister (CM) Bhim Acharya's cabinet has lost its majority, on Wednesday.
CM Acharya was appointed as the Parliamentary Party Leader of CPN (UML) leading 51 of 93-member PA members on 26 August, and was sworn in as the second CM of the province on the same day.
Acharya had appointed Laxman Tiwari, a directly elected PA member from Tehrathum and Balbahadur Samsohang, a directly elected PA member from Taplejung, as ministers for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment and Social Development respectively the very next day.
Just after six days, 10 PA members of erstwhile CPN (UML) have defected to CPN (United Socialist). They include Sabitri Regmi, Khinu Langwa Limbu, Ganesh Kangwang, Krishna Kumari Rai, Upendra Ghimire, Sunita Chaudhary, Sarita Thapa, Padam Kumari Gurung, Rajan Rai and Rajendra Rai.
With this defection, the 51 PA members' strong CPN (UML) has been reduced to 41 members.
To retain the majority, at least 47 members are required, for which CM Acharya is short of six members.
The allianve, together with 10-seat strong CPN (United Socialist), Nepali Congress which commands 21 seats, CPN (Maoist) Center which has 15 seats and People's Socialist Party which has 3 seats is gearing up to form a new government.
Rajendra Rai, who is a directly elected PA member from Bhojpur and supporter of CPN (US) chair Madhav Kumar Nepal, is pitched as the new CM of the alliance.