Deuba expands Cabinet, inducts eight state ministers

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Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today expanded his Cabinet by inducting eight state ministers from the CPN (Maoist Centre), a major coalition partner in the government.

With the induction, the number of ministers in the Deuba-led Cabinet formed on June 7 has reached 31. There are three Deputy Prime Ministers, 19 ministers and eight state ministers in the Cabinet.

The newly appointed ministers are Mohammad Jakir Hussein for Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Ram Singh Yadav for Ministry of Health, Shyam Kumar Shrestha for Home Ministry, Shambhu Lal Shrestha for Ministry of Energy and Karna Bahadur BK for Ministry of Supplies.

The other ministers include Chham Bahadur Gurung for Ministry of Urban Development, Goma Kunwar for Ministry of Livestock Development and Ongdi Sherpa for Ministry of General Administration.

All of the newly inducted state ministers are from the CPN-Moist Centre, a major coalition partner in Deuba’s government.

Deuba also administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly-appointed ministers at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers this afternoon.

The move comes three days ahead of Dueba’s maiden visit to India. Dueba, 71, will embark on a five-day official visit to India, his first foreign visit after taking charge of the coalition government, on Wednesday.

Dueba, who took over from Maoist leader Prachanda in a power-sharing deal in June, will visit India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The veteran Nepali politician, known for his close ties with India, took over the reigns of Nepal when the Himalayan nation was navigating a political turmoil over the implementation of the Constitution and unrest in the southern plains due to the Madhesi agitation.

Deuba had played a key role in bringing the agitating Madhes-based parties on board for the second phase of the local-level polls held on June 28.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.

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