Newly appointed ministers take oath of office and secrecy

Photo: Pradeep Raj Onta

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has expanded the council of ministers including new ministers from coalition partners.

President Ram Chandra Poudel administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed ministers.

The much awaited expansion, however, witnessed boycott of the function by at least four ‘nominees’ from the Nepali congress belonging to the dissident camp led by Dr Shekhar Koirala.

The event that had been deferred few times in the past, mainly because the coalition partners had not been able to reach a consensus on the ‘ministers’ and portfolios.

Nepali congress (Deuba faction), United socialists, Maoists Centre, Janata Samajbadi Party, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party and Nepal Samajbadi Party were the ones which are represented in the council of ministers.

Deputy Prime Minister Narayankaji Shrestha has been given the ministry of home affairs, whereas Purna Bahadur Khadka from NC has joined the cabinet as new Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Ministry of Defense.

Although Nepali Congress was allocated a total of eight seats, boycott by four members has resulted in only four being sworn in. Those who took the oath of office from the party include Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat (Finance), Ramesh Rijal (Industries, commerce and supplies), Sita Gurung (Urban Development) beside DPM Khadka.

With inclusion of Shakti Basnet as the Energy minister in the cabinet, the Maoist Centre will have half a dozen representation including Prime Minister Dahal. Dahal Kept Ministry of Foreign Affairs with himself.

While Unified Socialist and the Janata Samajbadi Party- will have two each, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, Nagarik Unmukti party and the Nepal Samajbadi Party will have one each in it.

Following is the full list of ministers along with their respective portfolios;

Narayankaji Shrestha- DPM in charge of Home Affairs, Shakti Basnet- Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and Aman Lal Modi- Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Rekha Sharma- Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Sudhan Kirati- Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation are from the Maoist Center.

Similarly, ministers from United Socialist include Beduram Bhusal- Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and Prakash Jwala- Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.

Ashok Rai from Janata Samajbadi Party (Education, Science and Technology,)  Loktantrik Samajbadi Party’s Sarad Singh Bhandari (Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security),  Ranjita Shrestha from Nagarik Unmukti Party- ( Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation ) and Nepal Samajbadi Party’s
Mahenra Raya Yadav (Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare).