The 25-member Council of Ministers has one Dalit, six women, eight Janajatis and four Madhesi members.
KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress leaders used to give credit to their party President Sher Bahadur Deuba to have advocated for a policy of inclusiveness but his Council of Ministers formed on Friday has flouted even the constitutional provision.
The 25-member Council of Ministers has only one Dalit minister, six women, and four Madheshi members. This shows that the political parties of the country continue flouting the provision of inclusiveness they have incorporated in the new constitution.
Deuba has inducted Maheswor Jung Gahatraj as Minister for Youth and Sports which is only four percent though the total population of Dalits as per the 2011 census is around 14 percent.
Deuba is leading a coalition government of four parties–CPN (Maoist Centre), CPN (Unified Socialist) and Janata Samajbadi Party.
“Since we are leading the coalition government you know how difficult it is to manage everything,” a Nepali Congress leader tried to seek an excuse pointing at the coalition partners. “It took around three months to give the cabinet its full shape because the parties in coalition could not give names of their ministers.”
However, Gahatraj was appointed minister from CPN (Maoist Centre).
The Maoist Centre has given the most inclusive list of its six ministers–one Dalit, one Madhesi–State Minister for Education Bodhmaya Yadav and three women–Pampha Bhusal (Energy) and Shashi Shrestha (Land Reforms, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation) besides Yadav.
The Deuba government has six women ministers–Uma Regmi (Women, Children and Senior Citizens) from Congress, Renu Yadav (Physical Infrastructure and Transport) from Janata Samajbadi Party, Ram Kumari Jhakri (Urban Development) from CPN (Unified Socialist) and three from Maoist Centre–Bhusal, Shrestha and Yadav.
There is a mandatory provision of 33 percent women representation at all the state organs as the total population of women accounts to around 51 percent. But the government has included only 24 percent women members in its cabinet.
With eight Janajati ministers in the Council of Ministers, the government has given comparatively better space to them which amounts to 32 per cent.
Janajati ministers include Rajendra Shrestha (Federal Affairs and Local Development) from JSP, Umakanta Chaudhary (Water Supply) and Umesh Shrestha (State minister without portfolio) from NC, Prem Ale (Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation), Ram Kumari Jhakri (Urban Development), Krishna Kumar Shrestha (Labour, Employment and Social Security) and Bhawani Khapung (State Minister for Health and Population) from Unified Socialist.
The four ministers from Madhesh communities are Mahendra Raya Yadav (Agriculture and Livestock Development), Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav (Forest and Environment), Renu Yadav (Physical Infrastructure and Transport) from JSP and Bodh Maya Yadav from Maoist Centre.
However, political leaders have said this is the most inclusive Cabinet Deuba ever had. This is the fifth stint of Deuba as prime minister.