PM urges NC, UML to send names, But uncertain

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has called on the two big oppositions- the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress (NC), to send names of their representatives to join the national consensus government to be led by Dr Bhattarai, at the earliest.

PM Bhattarai urged NC president Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman Jhalnath Khanal to finalise the name of their party members by today afternoon as the oath-taking ceremony has been fixed around 5:00 pm.

At a time when NC and UML are undeclared over sending names in the Cabinet, PM Bhattarai reached the residence of NC President Sushil Koirala on Saturday morning and requested Koirala to send the names soon.

Leaders inside NC are at variance after senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba-led faction demanded that party President Sushil Koirala settle internal disputes before sending names.

Though UML leaders are divided over whether to join the Bhattarai-led government or not, PM Bhattarai telephoned CPN-UML Chairman Jhalnath Khanal on Saturday morning and insisted to send the names as soon as possible.

It has been learnt that Koirala and Khanal replied the prime minister that they will send names after holding internal discussions.

Dr Bhattarai is expected to form a 26-member Cabinet today, with five ministers each from the UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the United Democratic Madhesi Front and five representing fringe political parties.

Though NC and UML are at odds over sending names, the UCPN-Maoist has already decided to re-send outgoing ministers Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Post Bahadur Bogati to the national consensus government to be formed under party Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai.THT

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