KATHMANDU: The Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, the fifth largest party in the Constituent Assembly, on Saturday decided to join the CPN-UML-led government. Earlier, the party had decided to support the formation of the coalition government.

The central working committee meeting of the party, held here today, formally took the decision. However, the party has not finalised the list of leaders to join the government. The party also formed a four-member panel led by Hridayesh Tripathi to hold talks with other coalition partners to dwell on sharing power. Mahendra Prasad Yadav, Ram Kumar Sharma and Jitendra Sonal are the other members in the panel.

Speaking to this daily, joint general secretary Sonal said the party had decided to join the government to raise the Madhes issues. Sonal also said the party would stake claim on more than three portfolios in the cabinet. The UML has pledged two ministries for the party.

Sonal, however, made it clear that their main priorities were the peace process, constitution-drafting process and hosts of other issues of concern to Madhes, and not the allocation of ministries.

The Sadbhavana Party, meanwhile, has demanded two ministries for the party. Laxman Lal Karna, senior leader of the party, said the UML had proposed a ministry for the party. “Our president Rajendra Mahato will lead the party in the government,” he added.

The Rastriya Prajatantra Party has decided to join the new government today. The UML has proposed a ministry for the party. RPP’s central committee member Deepak Bohora said the party had authorised chairman Pashupati SJB Rana to pick the name.

However, Rastriya Janashakti Party is still undecided about joining the government. RJP co-chairperon Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani said the party was yet to discuss on the issue. Dr Lohani also said the UML had not asked his party to join the government.

On the other hand, Chure Bhavar National Unity Party, is likely to join the government. “Some parties are urging me to join the government but I am focussed on our party’s agenda rather than joining the cabinet,” party president Keshav Mainali said, addressing a programme on Saturday.