PM Dahal plans cabinet reshuffle; Deuba says ‘wait’ « Khabarhub
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PM Dahal plans cabinet reshuffle; Deuba says ‘wait’

21 January 2024  

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KATHMANDU: Prime Minister (PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, is gearing up for a cabinet reshuffle, seeking to bring about changes in key ministerial positions.

Following the announcement of his intent on December 26, PM Dahal is now poised to execute these changes later this week, with a specific focus on the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sources close to the Prime Minister reveal that PM Dahal perceives challenges in effective governance without control over the Finance Ministry.

Consequently, he has approached Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba, a coalition partner, with a proposal to transfer the Finance Ministry from Nepali Congress to the Maoists.

If NC President Deuba agrees, this reshuffle would witness the return of Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, while Barshman Pun from the Maoist Center would take his place.

However, Nepali Congress leaders argue that placing the Home Ministry under Maoist control has jeopardized their members, necessitating a transfer of the ministry to NC.

Despite PM Dahal’s initial request for a prompt exchange of ministries at the earliest, NC President Deuba has advocated for a delay, suggesting that ministerial changes should occur post the party’s Mahasamiti meeting scheduled for February 19.

In a conversation with Khabarhub, NC sources close to Deuba said, “Changing ministers before the Mahasamiti meeting would pose challenges within the party. Hence, NC President Deuba has proposed that we should only implement changes after the general committee meeting.”

The uncertainty looms over who will assume the role of Home Minister if the Nepali Congress takes control of the Home Ministry.

Factional politics within the Nepali Congress adds complexity to the decision, prompting NC President Deuba’s call to refrain from reshuffling the Cabinet before the Mahasamiti meeting.

While NC General Secretary Gagan Thapa emerges as a contender for the Home Ministerial position, the final decision rests on Deuba’s choice, potentially escalating factional tensions within the party.

Reports suggest that Pm Dahal seeks to include a team comprising Gagan Thapa, Barshman Pun, Rajendra Pandey, and Raj Kishore Yadav in the government, aiming for their support.

As the reshuffle unfolds, PM Dahal is also navigating negotiations with the Unified Socialist Party, led by Madhav Nepal.

The party’s claims of injustice in the National Assembly must be addressed during the Cabinet reshuffle.

Additionally, CK Raut’s Janamat Party has issued warnings of leaving the General Administration Ministry, further complicating the political landscape.

In a bid to maintain harmony with the CPN-UML, PM Dahal is contemplating including Rabi Lamichhane’s party if the Unified Socialist Party withdraws from the government.

This strategic move, sources claim, aligns with PM Dahal’s overarching goal of sustaining the government for the entire five-year term.

Publish Date : 21 January 2024 15:47 PM

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