PM Dahal-led cabinet: Get to know the ministers


March 7, 2024


PM Dahal-led cabinet: Get to know the ministers

KATHMANDU: Following the recent rupture in alliance with the Nepali Congress (NC), Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda appointed a 20-member Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

As per constitutional provisions, a maximum of 25 individuals can constitute a Council of Ministers.

Currently, Prime Minister Dahal is yet to appoint ministers for the Ministry of Forests, and Ministry of Health and Population, with Janata Samajwadi Party and other fringe parties asserting their claims over these key ministries.

Subsequently, as stipulated by the constitution, three state ministers can be incorporated.

Notably, Prime Minister Dahal’s cabinet boasts three Deputy Prime Ministers, a notable addition being JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav, expected to assume the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

This move would raise the count of Deputy Prime Ministers to four. However, the JSP has not finalized its nominee for the government position.

Barsaman Pun

Maoist Deputy General Secretary Barshaman has been appointed as Finance Minister.

Barshaman Pun has once again assumed the role of Finance Minister for the second time.

Hailing from Rolpa, he was elected to the House of Representatives.

In the Constituent Assembly Election of 2070 BS, Barshaman faced defeat by Dig Bahadur Limbu of the Nepali Congress in Morang Constituency-9.

He also served as the Finance Minister in the government under the leadership of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, formed on 2068 BS.

Barshaman Pun, who holds a graduation degree in law, secured victory in the Constituent Assembly elections from Lalitpur-1.

Raghubir Mahaseth

Raghubir Mahaseth, representing the CPN-UML, has assumed the role of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.

Mahaseth, formerly at the helm of CPN-UML’s leadership in the government, has been appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport for the second time

Mahaseth previously served as the Minister of Physical Infrastructure in 2074 BS in the KP Oli-led government.

However, he faced removal from the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport at that time due to perceived poor performance.

In a notable turn, Mahaseth also held the reins of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2076 BS.

Hailing from Dhanusha, he is a UML leader known for consistently receiving opportunities within the party.

Regarded as one of Oli’s trusted confidants, Mahaseth is recognized as a wealthy parliamentarian actively involved in the construction business.

Rabi Lamichhane

Rabi Lamichhane, making a transition from television journalism to politics, has emerged victorious in the House of Representatives election from Chitwan 2.

His popularity among voters is attributed to his advocacy for the rights of Nepalis working abroad, his journalistic efforts in highlighting the country’s irregularities, and his active engagement in public and social initiatives.

In a noteworthy political ascent, Lamichhane earlier assumed the roles of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister in the Prachanda-led government.

However, a citizenship dispute compelled his departure from the ministry within 32 days.

Presently, he has made a return to the Ministry of Home Affairs, concurrently holding the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister. Lamichhane also serves as the Chairman of the Rastriya Swatantra Party.

Sumana Shrestha

Lawmaker of Rastriya Swatantra Party, Sumana Shrestha has assumed the role of overseeing the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology.

Not only is she entrusted with this significant responsibility, but she also serves as a member of the Education Committee in Parliament.

Known for her outspoken stance on the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University, Sumana finds herself in the unique position of addressing this very issue.

During the drafting of Nepal’s Constitution in 2072 BS, Sumana was contributing as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in America.

Her educational background includes a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Jwalakumari Sah

Former Maoist leader Jwalakumari Sah has taken on the role of Agriculture Minister from the CPN-UML.

This is not her first foray into ministerial responsibilities, as she previously served as the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development for a brief period of 42 days in the Prachanda government in 2079 BS.

Bhagawati Chaudhary

Bhagawati Chaudhary, a leader from the CPN-UML, has been re-elected to the position of Minister for Women, Children, and Senior Citizens.

Notably, she emerged victorious against Bijay Kumar Gachchdar in Sunsari, a significant feat considering her defeat by Gachchdar in the 2070 BS Constituent Assembly elections.

Hari Upreti

The CPN-UML party has appointed Hari Upreti as the Minister of Defense, entrusting him with a significant portfolio.

Notably, Upreti had previously served as a minister for 42 days in the Prachanda government.

Currently representing Constituency-3 of Sarlahi, Upreti’s political journey began in student politics, and he entered formal politics in 2037 BS.

Birajbhakta Shrestha

Birajbhakta Shrestha, appointed as the Sports Minister by RSP, has secured a position as a Member of Parliament from Kathmandu-8, triumphing over CPN Unified Socialist candidate Jivan Ram Shrestha.

Birajbhakta Shrestha, who previously served as a member of the Provincial Assembly of Bagmati from the Sajha Bibeksheel Party, played a role in the movement against the Guthi Bill in Kathmandu.

Padam Giri

CPN-UML lawmaker Padam Giri, elected from Parbat, has been entrusted with the responsibility of the Law Ministry.

Giri, who hails from Kushma Municipality, Parbat, emerged as a leader from the politics of the student movement.

Serving as an MP for the second time from Parbat, he previously held the position of Minister of Health and Population in the Prachanda government for 42 days.

Damodar Bhandari

CPN-UML appointee Damodar Bhandari of Baitadi has assumed the role of Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Supply.

Bhandari, a seasoned politician, previously served as a minister for 42 days in Prachanda’s government in 2079 BS.

Balaram Adhikari

CPN-UML designated Balaram Adhikari as the Minister of Land Management and Poverty Alleviation.

Although initially in line for a ministerial position in the Prachanda government, his appointment was redirected to Bimala Rai Poudel as the Foreign Minister.

Balaram Adhikari

In the House of Representatives election of 2079 BS, Balaram Adhikari secured a significant win by defeating Chakrapani Khanal of the Maoist Center in Kapilvastu 1, garnering a notable margin of 18,429 votes.

Despite being recognized among leaders who initially did not receive opportunities from UML, Adhikari has proven his mettle as a former Member of Parliament and Constituent Assembly member.

Rajendra Rai

CPN-UML lawmaker Rajendra Rai from Dhankuta, acknowledged as a key figure for the party in the region, has been appointed as the Minister of Water Supply.

Rai earned the prestigious title of ‘Man of the Election’ in 2074BS, bestowed upon him by Oli.

With continued success, he triumphed in the 2079 BS election, securing a non-departmental ministerial position for 42 days in the Prachanda government formed in 2079 BS.

Bhanubhakta Joshi

Federal Affairs and General Administration Minister Bhanubhakta Joshi, hailing from Bajhang 1, emerged victorious in the 2079 House of Representatives election.

As a longstanding figure in UML, Joshi boasts four and a half decades of political experience, commencing in 2036 BS in Nepalgunj.

Joshi has held ministerial roles, including Minister of Forests and Land Conservation in Jhalanath Khanal’s cabinet.

Dhan Bahadur Budha

Dhan Bahadur Budha, representing Dolpa-1 for the Unified Socialist Party, recently assumed office as the Minister of Urban Development and concurrently holds a seat in the House of Representatives.

Budha has a prior history of service within the Council of Ministers, where he previously held the position of Minister of State for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation. Presently, he is an active member of the United Socialist Party.

Dolprasad Aryal

Dolprasad (DP) Aryal, the PR parliamentarian pf RSP, assumed the role of Labor Minister after taking the oath on Wednesday.

Notably, Aryal had previously served as the Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Security in the government led by Prachanda for a brief period of 20 days in 2079 BS.

Aryal, hailing from Dhading, migrated to Kathmandu after 2049 BS and, after working in Japan for around 8 years, invested in the tourism business, consultancy cooperative, and the education sector upon his return.

Rekha Sharma

Rekha Sharma, re-elected as Minister of Communications, achieved a significant victory by defeating UML General Secretary Shankar Pokhrel in the House of Representatives election from Dang-2.

Not only has Sharma previously served as a minister in the central government, but she is also the only woman parliamentarian to win direct elections from the Maoist party.

Born in 2026 in Dang, Sharma embarked on her political journey in 2042 BS.

Sharma, with a parliamentary journey starting from 2070 BS, has been appointed as the Minister of Communication and Information Technology in the Prachanda government.

Hit Bahadur Tamang

Leader from Nuwakot, Hit Bahadur Tamang takes over the responsibility of the Tourism Minister, succeeding Sudan Kirati in Prachanda’s council of ministers.

Tamang, a member of the House of Representatives from Nuwakot-1, initiated his political journey as a student.