Sudurpaschim CM expands cabinet

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By Prakash Bikram Shah,Dhangadi, June 12: The newly appointed seven ministers of Sudurpaschim Province have taken the oath of office and secrecy.

Province Chief Najir Miya administered the oath on Monday. 

Previously, the government consisted of only three members, including the Chief Minister, for one and a half months. Now, the cabinet has expanded with 10 ministers

Sudurpaschim Chief Minister Dirgha Bahadur Sodari expanded the cabinet after the CPN-UML agreed to join the government.

The UML remained undecided for a long time whether to join the provincial government led by the CPN (Unified Socialist). 

Minister for Economic Affairs Surendra Pal of CPN-UML and Minister for Social Development Om Bikram Bhatt Saral of CPN (Maoist Centre) were among those who took the oath.

Similarly, Bir Bahadur Thapa ‘Patal’ of UML, Hira Singh Sarki, Akkal Rawal of CPN (MC), Laxmi BK, and Maya Panta of CPN (Unified Socialist) were sworn in as ministers without portfolio.

Earlier, Kailash Chaudhary of the Nagarik Unmukti Party was appointed Minister of Physical Infrastructure, and Tika Thapa as Minister for Land Management, Agriculture, and Cooperatives.

Independent Provincial Assembly member Dr. Tara Prasad Joshi was offered the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest, and Environment. However, he declined to take the oath, stating that there were too many ministers and that splitting the ministries would not be appropriate.

Chief Minister Sodari, who is also the leader of the CPN (Unified Socialist) had attempted to split the ministries of Physical Infrastructure, Social Development, Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Industries, Tourism, Forests, and Environment with the consent of the top leaders of the ruling coalition parties.

In Sudurpashchim Province, there were previously up to seven ministers and four state ministers.

After Dr. Joshi declined to take the oath, Chief Minister Sodari assumed responsibility of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest, and Environment. 

Chief Minister Sodari gave a brief response after the swearing-in ceremony and said that it would be easier for the government to work now. 

He also conveyed confidence that Dr. Joshi would eventually join the government.

Chief Minister Sodari, Speaker Bhim Bahadur Bhandari, Ministers, former Chief Ministers, members of the House of Representatives and the Constituent Assembly were present in the swearing-in ceremony.

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