Sujata Koirala, Nepal’s Foreign Minister and daughter of Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala, has been appointed the second Deputy Prime Minister in the CPN (UML)-led coalition government.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who accepted Mr. Koirala’s request to appoint his daughter to the post, administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ms. Koirala on Monday.
Though a faction of the Nepali Congress leadership has expressed dissatisfaction with the party president’s decision promote his daughter to the post, Ms. Koirala claimed the party was happy about her appointment.
“The party is happy, as Nepali Congress which was in the fourth position in the Cabinet has now come to the second position,” she told reporters, adding that her appointment meant more to the party than to her as an individual.
Clearly upset with the decision, Bijay Kumar Gachhedar, the first Deputy Prime Minister, said he was the senior as he was appointed to the post first.
Earlier when Mr. Koirala posted Ms. Koirala as the leader of the Nepali Congress Ministers in the Cabinet, it had sparked criticism in the party. Later, in August, when she cancelled a visit to India, it was said she did so because she was denied the post of Deputy Prime Minister. When the party asked her for clarification she said she was unwell.
The state-run Nepal Television quoted Nepali Congress spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC as saying that it was not the party’s decision to make Ms. Koirala the Deputy Prime Minister.