Upendra Yadav conundrum


Chairman of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) Upendra Yadav left the prime minister’s official residence on February 26 after agreeing to join the KP Sharma Oli led government saying he will get back after consulting with party leaders.

The sharing of ministries agreed between CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) was changed after Yadav agreed to join the government. Swearing-in of all but four ministers was stopped.

Seven days on, Yadav has neither been able to convince his fellow leaders nor has the Cabinet been expanded. Repeated rounds of negotiations have failed to yield result.

PM and UML Chairman Oli, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Yadav had two rounds of discussions—first at Baluwatar in the morning and then in Baneshwore in the evening, on Sunday. But the discussions also failed to yield any result.

The three chairmen are scheduled to talk even on Monday.

The format of the two-point agreement among the three parties is already ready. But it has yet to be signed.

So, what is causing this delay?

A UML leader, who is involved in negotiation, says the main reason is Yadav facing difficulty inside his own party.

UML and Maoist Center have already agreed to give one ministry each from their respective share to FSFN.

Yadav himself wants to lead the Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Ministry. But he also has to make two more leaders minister.

Former education minister Renu Kuamri Yadav, who has been with Yadav through multiple splits in his party, is also in race for the post of minister. She has been elected to the House of Representatives (HoR) through proportional representation (PR) system. He wants to repay her loyalty by making her minister.

FSFN has been formed following unification of Upendra Yadav led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and Federal Socialist Party of Ashok Rai. Yadav must give one ministry to a leader from Rai’s party if he gets two ministries.

Co-chairman of FSFN Rajendra Shrestha is claiming for the post of minister.

“Yadav says he cannot join the Cabinet and will have to send two other leaders if FSFN gets just two ministries,” the UML leader told Setopati.

Some UML leaders opine that FSFN must be brought in even by giving three ministries that Upendra Yadav demands. Other leaders, meanwhile, opine that adding one ministry only for Yadav will send a wrong message and argue that the number of ministries must not be increased.

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