Chief Minister of Koshi Province, Kedar Karki/File Photo
BIRATNAGAR: Chief Minister of Koshi Province, Kedar Karki, is strategizing to expand the cabinet through a merger of parties affiliated with the central coalition.
In a bid to foster unity, Chief Minister Karki aims to include all parties that expressed their vote of confidence on October 18 in the government.
Other than the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), the parties in the Koshi Province Assembly have shown favor towards Karki, leading to his efforts to expand the cabinet.
Nevertheless, the CPN-UML has firmly stated that they will not accept any party other than the Nepali Congress in the government.
After a recent meeting with Chief Minister Karki, UML leaders emphasized the urgent need to adhere to prior agreements before expanding the government.
Rewathi Raman Bhandari, the chief whip of the Koshi Pradesh Assembly UML parliamentary party, said, “We have urged him (CM Karki) to honor the terms agreed upon during his appointment as Chief Minister. If the alliance is included, we will step back.”
“If the coalition is brought into the government, we will promptly resign from our positions and assume the role of the opposition,” Bhandari stated.
In response, Chief Minister Karki expressed his dedication to establishing a consensus government.
“I have extended invitations to the alliance and other parties to participate in the government,” Karki said.
“There is a possibility that all parties will join the government,” he added.
Supported by 39 UML MPs, Karki was appointed as Chief Minister, with an additional 8 MPs from the Nepali Congress.
The UML is exerting pressure on Chief Minister Karki to swiftly expand the remainder of the cabinet.
“We urged the Chief Minister to broaden the government before Dashain, but he traveled to Kathmandu,” UML chief whip Bhandari lamented.
The CPN-Maoist Center, a key component of the Central Alliance, has advised Chief Minister Karki to incorporate the alliance into the government.
Koshi Pradesh Assembly Maoist Parliamentary Party leader Indra Angbo stated that Chief Minister Karki raised the proposal for a consensus government amid challenging circumstances.
“Although the UML played a crucial role in establishing the government, they are now unwilling to leave the coalition,” Angbo observed. “The government is seeking to expand its reach by including all parties. Even the UML cannot withdraw at this stage, as it recognizes the risks associated with excluding the coalition.”
Engaging in ongoing discussions with top leaders, Chief Minister Karki is striving to prevent further escalation of the situation.
According to sources, an agreement was reached stipulating that the Chief Minister of Koshi Province would hold 5 ministries, while the Congress would be allocated 4 ministries.
Additionally, there is a consensus to alternate the leadership of the government every 2 years. This arrangement has prompted the UML to resist the inclusion of the alliance in the Koshi government.