RJP-Nepal unlikely to be part of Province 2 Cabinet for time being

Kathmandu, February 13

Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal is unlikely to participate in the first Cabinet of Province 2 amid serious differences among members of the presidium.

The differences surfaced after presidium members expressed differing opinions on whether Provincial Assembly members elected under the proportional representation category should be inducted in the cabinet, during a meeting of the RJP-N held to finalise names of ministers, according to a party source.

RJP-N Presidium Coordinator Mahantha Thakur and member Mahendra Raya Yadav were of the view that those elected under the first-past-the-post system should be inducted in the cabinet in the first phase, while Anil Jha and Raj Kishor Yadav were in favour of also inducting those who were elected under the PR system.

Coordinator Thakur told the meeting that FPTP winners should be given first priority given the fact that PR winners got the opportunity to become assembly members.

The source said that Anil Jha wanted to make his wife Dimpal Jha a minister, while Raj Kishor Yadav sought to induct Netra Bikram Sah in the cabinet. Dimple Jha and Netra Bikram Sah were elected under the PR system.

The RJP-N said it would recommend the names of ministers only after an understanding among presidium members.

As per the power-sharing agreement with Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, the RJP-N has been allocated the Ministry of Physical Planning, Ministry of Industry and Tourism and Ministry of Social Welfare in the Province 2 Cabinet.

The FSF-N and RJP-N have recommended to Governor Ratneshwor Lal Kayastha that FSF-N parliamentary party leader Lal Babu Rawat be appointed the provincial chief minister after proving majority in the assembly. Earlier, Governor Kayastha had asked the parties to come with majority to form the government.

Of the 107-member provincial assembly, support of 54 members is needed to form the government. The FSF-N has won 29 and the RJP-N has secured 25 seats.