Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli has inducted eight ministers and two state ministers from the Thakur-Mahato faction of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) in his Cabinet Friday itself. The ministers will be sworn in later in the evening, according to a Baluwatar source.
JSP Chairman Mahatntha Thakur met PM Oli earlier on the day to finalize the name of the ministers and the ministries they will get. Senior Leader Rajendra Mahato will lead the party in the government as Deputy PM and Urban Development Minister, according to a leader close to the Thakur-Mahato faction.
Sharat Singh Bhandari will get the Energy Ministry, Anil Jha Water Supplies Ministry, Uma Shankar Argariya Youth and Sports Ministry, Bimal Srivastav Labor Ministry, Laxman Lal Karna Land Reforms Ministry, Chanda Chaudhary Women Children and Social Welfare Ministry and Iqbal Miya Forest Ministry.
Chandrakanta Chaudhary will be Minister of State for Energy and Renuka Gurung Minister of State for Women Children and Social Welfare.
The Thakur-Mahato faction was a little reluctant to immediately join the government now that the dispute about JSP has reached the Election Commission.
The Yadav-Bhattarai faction has already expelled four leaders including Thakur, Mahato, Sarbendra Nath Shukla and Laxman Lal Karna for refusing to submit the explanation sought by the executive committee. The Thakur-Mahato faction has also expelled Chairman Upendra Yadav in retaliation.
Both the factions have staked claim for formal recognition with the Election Commission. The Yadav-Bhattarai faction, that claims it has support of 30 members in the 51-strong executive committee, has sent a letter with signatures of the majority of members to the Election Commission.
PM Oli has decided to induct the JSP faction in the Cabinet without waiting for the Election Commission to take a call on official recognition.
The Constitution restricts the size of Cabinet to 25 including the PM. It is currently 18-strong after the Supreme Court (SC) revoked appointment of seven ministers who had joined UML quitting Maoist Center saying non-lawmakers cannot be repeatedly appointed ministers.
He will have to remove three of the current ministers to adjust 10 from the JSP faction.