Pressure mounts on Co-Chairs of NCP: Both leaders stick to the defense of their preferent

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister and Chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) K.P.Sharma Oli had a three-hour-long meeting with his co-Chair former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda on Monday.

This three-hour meeting did not yield the desired finalization for reorganizing the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet. There were differences in several names that got the two leaders at odds against one another bringing the meeting into an inconclusive end.

PM Oli wants his preferents to be in key positions of the Cabinet likewise, former PM Dahal insists on retaining his preferents for the same.

According to sources PM Oli wants the Home Ministry along with Finance and Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport which will include new faces, but on the other hand, Prachanda wants to retain the Home Ministry with his preferent and he stuck to his stand.

The sources also informed that the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and the Home Ministry will be given to former DPM Bamdev Gautam, and Bishnu Poudel accused in the Lalita Niwas land-grabbing scam will be given the Finance Ministry.

Prachanda wants to retain the Home Ministry with Ram Bahadur Thapa or his preferent and he was not willing to let go of this post.

The discussion also revolved around how many will be leaving the current Council of Ministers and who will be the new faces that would be inducted into the new Cabinet. PM Oli has given his preferred list while most of the current ministers are seen to be packing soon.

Prachanda is securing his hold by naming his preferents in key positions in the Cabinet. This will be a decider of his power within the party so he has stuck to his stand of getting his people on board. He wants a continuation with the current Home Ministry under Thapa and Energy Ministry  Barshaman Pun.

PM Oli wants his political aides Ishwor Pokharel, Pradeep Gyawali, and Gokul Baskota.

Lobbying for key positions has intensified over the days, and this has increased tremendous pressure on both the Co-chairs to finalize names at the earliest if they are to move ahead with reorganizing the cabinet.

(File Photo)