Khanal appoints 3 ministers amid row with main ally Maoists

Shirish B. Pradhan

Kathmandu, Feb 10 (PTI) Prime Minister JhalanathKhanal today inducted three ministers from his communist partyeven as he failed to finalise a power sharing deal with hismain ally Maoists, more than a week after he was elected asNepal''s new leader.

60-year-old Khanal today administered the oath ofoffice and secrecy to CPN-UML leaders � Bharat Mohan Adhikari,Bishnu Poudyal and Gangalal Tuladhar � after several rounds ofdiscussion with UCPN-Maoist which ended inconclusively, partysources said.

Adhikari was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister whilePoudyal and Tuladhar are yet to be allocated portfolios.

Tuladhar has been named the government spokesman.

Khanal was elected as the new prime minister by theConstituent Assembly after 17 rounds of election.

However, the two main allies - CPN-UML and the Maoists- have failed to arrive at an understanding over thedistribution of portfolios.

UCPN-Maoist, the largest party in the House isdemanding important portfolios, including the home ministry.

The Maoist decided not to join the cabinet today astheir demand for the important home ministry portfolio was notyet fulfilled.

"We will not join the cabinet today as our demands arenot fulfilled," said Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma.

The negotiations between the Maoists and the CPN-UMLwill continue after the formation of a mini-cabinet, he added.

The Maoists and the CPN-UML are blaming each otherfor the delay caused in the cabinet formation and sources saidKhanal''s party is unwilling to give the Home and Defenceportfolios to the former rebels.

The Maoists have blamed the CPN-UML for the delay incabinet formation, saying that the latter did not implement aseven-point pact reached with them.

None of the main political parties have a majorityin parliament, with the new government dependent on thesupport of the Maoists.

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