The government has appointed seven provincial chiefs Wednesday.
A Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s (PM) official residence in Baluwatar in the afternoon has appointed five provincial chiefs on recommendation of Nepali Congress (NC) and that of Province 2 and Province 5 on recommendation of Madhes-based parties Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSF-N) respectively.
Govinda Subba has been appointed chief of Province 1, Ratneshwore Lal Kayastha Province 2, Anuradha Koirala Province 3, Baburam Kunwar Province 4, Umakant Jha Province 5, Durga Keshar Khanal Province 6 and Mohan Raj Malla Province 7, according to Law Minister Yagya Bahadur Thapa.
The government has also announced that the first provincial assembly meeting of Province 1 will be convened in Biratnagar, Province 2 in Janakpur, Province 3 in Hetauda, Province 4 in Pokhara, Province 5 in Rupandehi, Province 6 in Surkhet and Province 7 in Dhangadi.
Chief of Province 1 Subba is professor of English at Tribhuwan University and hails from Dhankuta district. He was involved with ANNFSU as a student before the referendum for democracy in 1979 and had joined Nepal Students’ Union affiliated to NC during the referendum.
Chief of Province 2 Kayastha is a former agriculture secretary. A permanent resident of Mahottari, Kayastha is a water resources expert. He is also a former member of National Planning Commission (NPC). He was a candidate from FSFN for the House of Representatives (HoR) in the proportional representation (PR) system.
Koirala, the CNN Hero for 2010, has been campaigning against trafficking of women for three decades and has rescued many Nepali women sold to Indian brothels. Koirala, who was appointed the minister for women and children by the then king Gyanendra in 2005 after the latter dismissed PM Sher Bahadur Deuba for ‘incompetence’ and took over as the chairman of the council of ministers, had entered NC on November 12, 2017.
Her qualification for the position was questioned in the social media after the media reported she will be appointed chief of Province 3. Politician Sarita Giri tweeted that she was a naturalized Nepali. But the PM’s Office confirmed that Koirala has a citizenship certificate on the basis of birth.
Talking to Setopati, Koirala said she was born in Rumjatar of Okhaldhunga and went to Darjeeling only for education, and called the controversy unnecessary.
Chief of Province 4 Kunwar is a former attorney general. A permanent resident of Arghakhanchi, Kunwar was attorney general when Sushil Koirala was PM.
Chief of Province 5 Jha is former health secretary. He was health minister in the government led by former chief justice Khila Raj Regmi. His and Mahantha Thakur’s, leader of the chairman council of RJP, kids are married.
Chief of Province 6 Khanal is an intellectual. He has done politics with NC and was teacher during the Panchayat regime. He had become National Assembly member from NC after restoration of democracy in 1990.
Chief of Province 7 Malla is a politician. He was also the member of the Rastriya Panchayat during the Panchayat regime. He was a central member of RPP before joining NC a few years back.