Kathmandu: Newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister, ministers and ministers of state took an oath of office and secrecy amidst a ceremony at the Office of President, Sheetal Niwas today. New Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Rajendra Lingden, took oath before the Head- of- the- State.
The President, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, appointed the Chair of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), on the post today.
Similarly, newly appointed ministers from various political parties took oath of office and secrecy. They are Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma (on behalf of the Maoist Centre); Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration, Aman Lal Modi (Maoist Centre); Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sudan Kiranti (Maoist Centre) and Sushila Shreepali, the Minister of State for Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism (Maoist Centre).
Similarly, on behalf of the CPN (UML), Dr Bimala Rai, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Hari Upreti, Minister for Defence; Padam Giri, Minister for Health and Population; Bhagawati Chaudhary, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens; and Jwala Kumari Shah, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development were administered oath by the President on the occasion.
Likewise, Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Bikram Pandey, Minister for Urban Development, from RPP also took the oath. Party’s Deepak Singh took the oath as the Minister of State for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.
More, the Rastriya Swatantra Party which made its debut in the House of Representatives through the November 20 elections has got additional ministries. Party’s Shishir Khanal took the oath as the Minister for Education, Dor Prasad Aryal as the Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security and Dr Toshima Karki as the Minister of State for Health. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane led the party in the coalition government headed by the CPN (Maoist Centre).
Dahal was appointed the 44th Prime Minister on December 5 in accordance with the Article 76 (2) of the Constitution following the support of 169 lawmakers. He was sworn in the following day and appointed CPN (UML)’s Bishnu Poudel as the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister; CPN (Maoist Centre)’s Narayan Kaji Shrestha as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport and Lamichhane same day.
PM Dahal received the vote of confidence in the parliament on January 10 by winning 268 votes including from the Nepali Congress, the largest party with 89 seats in the 275-member lower house. However, the NC has decided to stay in the opposition.
The President has on the recommendation of the Prime Minister expanded the Council of Ministers today and allocated the portfolios. Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Supreme Court’s Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki, National Assembly Chair Ganesh Prasad Timilsina and heads of the constitutional bodies were present during the swearing-in ceremony.