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Congress on the verge of adding ministry to Gandaki

Pokhara: The Gandaki state government formed on May 12 under the leadership of Congress leader Krishnachandra Nepali Pokhrel has not yet reached its full potential. Even after three weeks of the coalition government, the government has not been able to reach its full potential due to unresolved issues. Not only the perfection of the cabinet but also two of the four who have been sworn in with the Chief Minister have not been able to get the responsibility yet. 

Kumar Khadka, who was sworn in as a minister without a portfolio from the Congress, was given the charge of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Technology, and Social Development on July 27. Madhumaya Adhikari, who became a minister from the CPN (Maoist), was given the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Population on the same day. Harisharan Acharya and Rajiv Gurung (Deepak Manage), who became ministers from the Janata Samajwadi Party, have not been given any responsibility.

The Council of Ministers has not been expanded as it is difficult to assign responsibilities to the appointed ministers. In a state with 11 ministries, six ministries are still without ministers. 

In the remaining ministries, two from Congress and three from the Maoists are going to the cabinet.

Dhanmaya Lama Pokhrel is sure to get the post of minister. However, as all the parliamentarians are aspiring ministers and want to get a good ministry, they are able to complete the government.

While Congress is looking for alternatives to complete the government, there is talk of increasing the number of ministries. According to Article 168 (9) of the Constitution, the Council of Ministers can be formed not more than 20 percent of the total members of the Provincial Assembly. Up to 12 ministries can be formed in the 60-member Gandaki Provincial Assembly.

When there are many aspirants for ministers, Congress wants to keep itself by adding one ministry. However, the Maoists do not seem to agree to add a ministry. So far no formal discussion has taken place. The Maoists have not expressed support even in the informal discussions between the leaders.

Earlier, outgoing Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung had split the Ministry of Social Development into eight ministries to secure the post. At that time, Gurung split the Ministry of Social Development and made Deepak Manage the Sports Minister on 16 April. Gurung, who was re-appointed as the chief minister on April 13, had increased the number of ministries from eight to 11.

The UCPN (M) is in favor of giving continuity to the existing ministry, considering the possibility of creating controversy if the ministry is added. Maoist parliamentary party leader Hari Bahadur Chuman says he is not in favor of adding a ministry.

"We are in favor of not adding a ministry," Chuman said.

Meanwhile, government spokesperson Kumar Khadka said that the government would take a decision on the issue after discussions and consultations. He said that so far there has been no formal discussion on expanding the ministry.

In Gandaki Pradesh, including the Chief Minister, Ministry of Health and Population, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, Ministry of Urban Development and Transport Management, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Drinking Water, Law, Communication and State Assembly Affairs, Education, There are 11 ministries including Ministry of Culture, Science, Technology and Social Development, Ministry of Tourism, Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Ministry of Forest, Environment and Land Conservation and Youth and Sports.

According to the alliance's share, the Congress has won four ministries, including the chief minister, the Maoists four, the Janata Samajwadi two, and the independent parliamentarians.

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