No cabinet expansion in Lumbini before January 20

Magh11, Butwal. It will take another week and a half to complete the cabinet in Lumbini region.

On January 27, CPN-UML leader Lila Giri was appointed Chief Minister with the support of 58 people from 7 out of 10 parties and 2 independent MPs in the Provincial Assembly.

On the same day, Chetnarayan Acharya of Arghakhanchi from UML and Krishna KC of Banke from Maoist center were appointed as departmental ministers. Chief Minister Giri had said that the cabinet will be complete after taking the vote of confidence.

But even after the chief minister received the vote of confidence on Magh 5, the cabinet has not been expanded. As there are many ministerial aspirants in the ruling parties, the cabinet could not be completed due to the difficulty in arranging the shares.

Maoist Center, RPPA, JSPA, LOSPA, Janmaat, Civil Liberation Party and CPN United Socialist Party and 2 independent MPs also gave vote of confidence to Giri. When the Chief Minister was appointed, the CPN Unified Socialist Party was also added when a vote of confidence was taken on the support of 7 parties.

Sudarshan Baral, Chairman of Lumbini Province of the Maoist Center, admitted that it was difficult to arrange the ministries as there were many ministerial aspirants within the power partner parties and parties. ‘Small parties with 3-4 MPs have been saying that all MPs need a minister, and how can that be done?’ Baral said, ‘There is a matter of reducing the ministry, so efforts are being made to get agreement by giving one minister and chairman of the parliamentary committee to the smaller parties.’

There will be 7 parliamentary committees including 6 thematic and one privileged in Lumbini. Although the opposition party will get the Accounts Committee, the ruling parties have started with the plan to manage the ministerial aspirants under the leadership of the other 6 committees.

Baral also revealed that there was an agreement not to keep him as the minister of state due to a lot of criticism.

Government spokesperson Chetnarayan Acharya claimed that the expansion of the cabinet was delayed due to Jokh Bahadur Mahara, the leader of the parliamentary party of the ruling party CPN-Maoist Center being bereaved.

‘The leader of the main power partner party is in mourning, he will escape on the 17th, the Dang may fall on the 18th, only then the matter of cabinet expansion will proceed’, said Acharya, ‘the cabinet can be completed by the 20th of January.’

Spokesperson Acharya claimed that there is no dispute between the power partner parties regarding the division of ministries as was discussed outside.

He informed Online Khabar that there has been an agreement to establish 10 ministries including the office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers in Lumbini.

Earlier, during the first tenure of the state government, Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel initially created 67 ministries and 6 ministers. After the CPN split, after the Maoist Center withdrew its support, the number of ministries was increased to 9 to sustain the government. After that, after Kul Prasad KC of the Maoist Center was appointed as the Chief Minister, he added 4 ministries and formed a jumbo cabinet of 17 people including 13 ministries and 4 state ministers.

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