Despite PM Deuba’s reluctance to reshuffle Cabinet, JSP and Unified Socialist continue to exert pressure

While Prime Minister (PM) Sher Bahadur Deuba has been reluctant to reshuffle the cabinet, the ruling partners — Unified Socialist and the Janata Samajwadi Party — have been exerting pressure on PM Deuba.

The Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Unified Socialist already proposed PM Deuba to induct new faces by removing all four ministers representing the party.

JSP Federal Council Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, meanwhile, has asked PM Deuba to appoint leaders of his faction as ministers by removing those from the party’s Upendra Yadav faction.

Bhattarai has been reiterating that PM Deuba should “recognize” the signatures of three leaders – Bhattarai, Yadav and Ashok Rai – of the party.

Prime Minister Deuba, who is yet to implement the earlier recommendation of the Unified Socialist to appoint new ministers, is also under pressure from the Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP).

However, Prime Minister Deuba has remained adamant about his stance of not reshuffling the Council of Ministers now as the incumbent ministers concerned need to respond to the budget proposal.

PM Deuba has been urging the leaders of the JSP and Unified Socialist to “understand the complexity” of the current situation.

According to Unified Socialist Spokesperson Jagannath Khatiwada, PM Deuba has urged them to not raise the issue of cabinet reshuffle as this would “inspire” Nepali Congress leaders to raise the issue, which he argued would create unwarranted pressure on him

“As soon as I reshuffle the cabinet, I will have to undergo pressure from my party leaders,” Khatiwada quoted PM Deuba as saying.

Intra-party wranglings have taken a new high within the Unified Socialist and the JSP over the issue of the cabinet reshuffle.

It should be noted that Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada and Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Prem Ale have publicly expressed outrage over the party’s decision to remove them from the cabinet.

Likewise, Unified Socialist senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal has defended the party’s decision of cabinet reshuffle saying that Prime Minister Deuba should abide by it.

Although the top leaders are in favor of cabinet reshuffle, the incumbent ministers of the Unified Socialist have been urging Prime Minister Deuba to not reshuffle the cabinet.

Meanwhile, leaders of JSP have been putting pressure on Chairman Upendra Yadav to implement the party’s decision to recommend a cabinet reshuffle in six months.

“After six months, it was agreed to induct new faces in the PM Deuba-led government, but Chairman Yadav is reluctant on the issue,” a source said.

While the major ruling partners are increasing pressure on the PM saying that the cabinet should be reshuffled, Prime Minister Deuba has been diverting the issue asking the parties to wait until the budget was passed.

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