KATHMANDU, JUNE 6
Madhav Kumar Nepal-led CPN (Unified Socialist) has decided to recall four of its five ministers from the government and send new ministers in their place.
Minister of Health and Population Birodh Khatiwada, Minister of Urban Development Ram Kumari Jhakri, Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale, Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Security Krishna Kumar Shrestha, and Bhawani Khapung, minister of state for health and population represent the CPN (US) in the Cabinet. The party decided to recall four ministers and promote Khapung to the post of a full minister.
Nepal told mediapersons he had submitted a list of new ministers to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
CPN (US) leader Bijay Paudel told THT that the party had recommended the PM to appoint Jeevan Ram Shrestha as minister of culture, tourism, and civil aviation, Sher Bahadur Kunwar as minister of labour, employment, and social security, Metmani Chaudhary as minister of urban development, and Hira KC as minister of state for health and population.
Jeevan Ram Shrestha said that they were likely to be sworn-in tomorrow.
The CPN (US) move to change its ministers in the ruling coalition comes eight months after its participation in the Deuba Cabinet and on the heels of the party’s poor showing in local polls. Out of 753 posts of mayor/chiefs, the CPN (US) won only 20 mayoral contests in the recently held local polls.
CPN (US) leaders allege that other coalition partners, particularly the Nepali Congress, did not support their party whole-heartedly in local polls. Asked if the party’s decision to change ministers could antagonise those ministers who were being recalled, CPN (US) leader Ganga Lal Tuladhar said all party leaders should understand that they could hold public post as long as the party wanted them to do so.
To a journalist’s query on the left alliance, Tuladhar said the talk of the left alliance was good but it was not possible in the near future.
“We were part of a united communist party, but we have seen that the party split into three outfits after a leader’s self-interest was fulfilled,”
Tuladhar said in an oblique reference to the erstwhile chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli’s attempt to punish top leaders who disagreed with him.
Tuladhar said his party had some grudges against other coalition partners, but that was no reason to bring about political instability.