|Shirish B Pradhan,
Kathmandu, May 6 - Nepal's Premier Baburam Bhattarai has formed a new national unity government, inducting 12 ministers -- most of them from main opposition parties -- as part of a negotiated effort to quell political tumult and steer the constitution drafting process ahead.
Two days after his cabinet quit to pave way for a consensus government -- a major demand of the opposition parties -- Bhattarai formed a 12-member cabinet that includes two deputy Prime Ministers.
The Premier formed the government as per a deal reached among the major political parties on Thursday night to expedite the peace process and to draft the new Constitution within the May 27 deadline.
The Prime Minister inducted ministers from the largest party UCPN (Maoist), the main opposition Nepali Congress and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) in the cabinet.
The opposition CPN-UML is also expected to join the government later.
The Constituent Assembly has a May 27 deadline to complete the drafting of the Constitution, and Bhattarai is likely to remain in office till that time, following which he will make was for a Nepali Congress-led government.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the deputy prime minister in the last Bhattarai-led government, and four other ministers from the UCPN-Maoist were inducted into the new cabinet.
From the Nepali Congress, Krishna Sitaula, the party general secretary was appointed Minister for Defence, and Surya Man Gurung was inducted as a minister without portfolio.
Bhattarai administered oath of office to two Deputy Prime Ministers and nine ministers at Rastrapati Bhawan in the presence of President Ram Baran Yadav yesterday. However, Health Minister Rajendra Mahato could not take oath of office as he was out of Kathmandu.
The Prime Minister also appointed Bijaya Gachhadar as Deputy Prime Minister with the portfolio of Home Affairs and four other ministers from Joint Democratic Madhesi Front.
Bijaya Gachhadar is the president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum-Democratic, one of the parties belonging to the five grouping of the Madhes-based parties.
Hridayesh Tripathi from Terai Madhes Democratic Party has been appointed Minister without portfolio while Raj Kishor Yadav of the Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum-Republic has been appointed the Minister for Information and Communication.
Mahendra Yadav from Terai Madhes Democratic Party-Nepal, has been appointed Minister for Irrigation and Rajendra Mahato from Sadbhawana Party has been appointed Minister for Health. PTI