THT 10 YEARS AGO: Koirala swears in ministers

Kathmandu, May 2, 2006

Prime Minster Girija Prasad Koirala today came under strident criticism from alliance partners for ignoring their contribution in heralding the current situation. The criticism has come hot on the heels of the swearing in of cabinet ministers —- four from the Nepali Congress (NC) and one each from the CPNUML, NC(D) and United Left Front (ULF).

“It’s surprising that the CPN-UML is not respected. We have contributed in larger measure. For example, out of 19 dead, 11 belonged to our party,” Keshav Badal, UML senior leader, said. He also said while his party was ready to sit out and support, “we are left to settle for a solitary cabinet minister just because we do not want to embarrass others” The NC (D) also expressed anguish at the way things unfolded today. “The person who is responsible for what happened today is the Prime Minister. Who else can be blamed for what has happened,” said NC (D) General Secretary Bimalendra Nidhi when asked who was responsible for what has happened. But he expressed optimism that the” next expansion may repair the damage done to the ties.” Earlier in the day Koirala sweared in six cabinet ministers putting an end to media and public criticism that the constituents of the alliance were demonstrating “lust for posts pelf and profit”.

Those sworn in today are K P Oli of the CPN-UML as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign minister, Gopal Man Shrestha of Nepali Congress (D) in charge of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Construction, Mahanta Thakur of NC, in charge of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative; Prabhu Narayan Chaudhari of the United Left Front in charge of Land Reforms and Management and Ram Sharan Mahat of NC in charge of Finance.

Largesse sought for martyrs’ kin

Kathmandu, May 2, 2006

Members of Parliament (MPs) today demanded the government provide certificates to family members of martyrs and people injured during the pro-democracy movement so that they can be provided with free health service, free education and public transportation. Participating in a discussion in the House today, the MPs urged the government to replace old statues installed in public places with the statues of the martyrs. “The government should provide certificates to the family members of the martyrs. They should be provided free education and free health service hey should be supported financially so that they can lead a decent life,” CPN-UML MP Urmila Aryal said.

Aryal also demanded the government provide a Nepali citizenship certificate to the wife of an Indian national, Mohammad Jahangir Khan. Khan, who was injured in a police action while he was taking part in a demonstration in Tripureshwor on April 22, died yesterday.