Kathmandu: Five days after taking over as Nepal`s new Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has failed to appoint ministers in his cabinet, with his supporting Madhesi group of parties demanding more representation and key portfolios.
Bhattarai, who assumed office earlier this week after comfortably winning a vote in Parliament has only appointed a deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Gachhadar from the Madhesi
Peoples Rights Forum (Democratic).
Bickerings within the five Madhesi alliance groups are stalling the process of cabinet formation as there appear to be more ministerial aspirants than berths.
The Madhesi parties, whose support was crucial for Bhattarai`s victory during the Prime Ministerial polls, are demanding at least two Deputy Prime Ministers and 12 cabinet
rank ministers including important portfolios such as Defence, Communication, Industry and Commerce and Education, it is learnt.
The Maoists party is also witnessing serious differences from within over the power sharing issue. As dissensions gripped the alliance partners, Bhattarai continued hectic parleys in the capital to break the deadlock.
He met top leaders of the Madhesi Front, the grouping of five Terai based political parties, in an attempt to resolve the issue relating to power sharing.
However, the meeting held at the Prime Minister`s Office at Singhdurbar secretariat ended inconclusively, according to president of Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato.
"The meeting has concluded but no decision has been made on the power sharing issue," Mahato told a news agency after the meeting.
The top leaders of Madhesi Front including Mahanta Thakur, president of Terai Madhes Democratic Party, Bijaya Gachhadar, Deputy Prime Minister and president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (Democratic) and Jaya Prakash Gupta, President of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (Republic) attended the meeting.
After holding talks with the Prime Minister, the top leaders of the Front were scheduled to hold meeting of their own to chalk out future strategy.
As Saturday is a holiday, there is no possibility of cabinet expansion until Sunday due to inability of ruling parties to sort out differences over power sharing matters.
As with the Madheshi groupings, bickerings are also reported in the dominant Maoist party, which has the largest number of members in Parliament.
The Party`s third vice president Narayan Kaji Shrestha and the party`s secretary CP Gajurel are learnt to be claimants to the post of deputy Prime Minister and the finance portfolio.