Province 2 Chief Minister (CM) Lal Babu Raut is preparing to split the current ministries to include Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) to save his government after firing four ministers from the Thakur-Mahato faction of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) on Sunday.
He even discussed about splitting the ministries during the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to ensure that NC and Maoist Center get the number of ministers they demand. CM Raut is preparing to increase the number of ministries to 10. NC is reportedly demanding three ministries and Maoist Center two.
Internal Affairs and Law Minister Gyanendra Kumar Yadav told Setopati that preparations have been completed to split the ministries to bring NC and Maoist Center on board despite parliamentary party leaders of NC and Maoist Center claiming that final agreement on joining the government has yet to be reached.
"Nothing concrete about the number of ministries and the name of the ministries to be given to us has arrived," NC parliamentary party leader Ram Saroj Yadav told Setopati. "We have heard about talks of splitting the ministries."
Maoist Center parliamentary party leader Bharat Prasad Sah also repeated that and added that the party is ready to join the government.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Cooperatives Yogendra Yadav, however, claimed that agreement about the ministries have already been reached. He claimed that JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav has already talked with NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to reach agreement about coalition government.
NC had initially staked claim for the post of CM but has given up the demand now.
CM Raut fired Physical Infrastructure Development Minister Jitendra Sonal, Minister of State for Physical Infrastructure Development Dimple Jha, Social Development Minister Abhiram Sharma and Minister of State for Industry, Forest and Tourism Suresh Mandal Sunday evening.
Raut, who is close to Chairman Upendra Yadav, has support of 36 out of 55 JSP lawmakers in the province and needs 17 more lawmakers for majority.
CPN-UML has 21, NC 19 and Maoist Center eight seats in the province.