Chief Minister (CM) of Gandaki Prithvi Subba Gurung has split the Social Development Ministry and appointed Rajeev Gurung aka Deepak Manange youth and sports minister.
The Social Development Ministry was overseeing programs related to youths and sports until now. The Gandaki Cabinet has now become eight-strong including CM Gurung.
No province in Nepal had split ministries until now. Gurung has split it to save his government.
Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center) and Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) have jointly registered no-confidence motion against Gurung. Manange was not present during the provincial assembly meeting on Wednesday that was scheduled to vote on the motion.
The special session of the provincial assembly in Gandaki was halted indefinitely on Wednesday after Rashtriya Janamorcha lawmaker Khim Bikram Shahi went missing.
Shahi, who was out of contact as the assembly meeting was discussing the no-confidence motion registered against Chief Minister (CM) Prithvi Subba Gurung and scheduled to vote on it Wednesday, was later found to have been hospitalized at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Charak Hospital in Pokhara for treatment of COVID-19. CM Gurung went to the hospital later in the evening to meet him
Shahi tested negative when the provincial public health laboratory tested all lawmakers on demand of ruling CPN-UML but another test done almost simultaneously at a private laboratory found him to be positive.
Janamorcha has claimed that Shahi has been hospitalized falsely ruling him to be infected despite the government laboratory finding him to be uninfected.
Provincial assembly secretary Hari Raj Pokharel issuing a notice informed that the meeting has been halted until further notice pointing at the demand of Janamorcha to stop proceedings until the missing lawmaker attends the meeting.
Chief Whip of the party Piyari Thapa earlier on the day registered an application in the provincial parliament secretariat demanding that the status of lawmaker Shahi, who is out of contact, be made public, his life saved and assembly proceedings stopped until his status is made public.
The assembly was holding discussion on the no-confidence motion registered against Chief Minister (CM) Prithvi Subba Gurung by Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center) and Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP).
Voting on the motion was scheduled to be held Wednesday itself and the motion would likely fail if Shahi does not turn up and vote in support of the motion.