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Prachanda expands cabinet for seventh time

Kathmandu : Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Friday expanded the cabinet for the seventh time in three months, inducting ministers from five new parties including the Nepali Congress.

The newly-appointed ministers took an oath of office and secrecy from President Ram Chandra Paudel at Sheetal Niwas, the President’s Office.

Nepali Congress (NC), the major partner in the ruling coalition, has got eight ministries. However, it has sent only four names since the Shekhar Koirala-led faction demanded at least three ministers.

Likewise, the Maoist Center has five ministers, Janata Samajwadi Party and Unified Samajwadi two ministries each, and Nagarik Unmukti Party, Loktantrik Samajwadi Party, Nepal Samajwadi Party, and Aam Janata Party one minister each.

NC’s Purna Bahadur Khadka has been appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence; Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat as Finance Minister; Ramesh Rijal as Minister of Industries; and Sita Gurung as the Minister of Urban Development.

Likewise, Shakti Basnet of the CPN (Maoist Centre) has been appointed the minister for energy, water resource and irrigation. The prime minister assigned the home portfolio to Narayan Kaji Shrestha. Shrestha was looking after the ministry of physical infrastructure and transport.

CPN (Unified Socialist) vice chairman Beduram Bhusal has been appointed the minister for agriculture and livestock development and the party’s deputy general secretary Prakash Jwala the minister for physical infrastructure and transport.

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