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Pokhrel and Yadav appointed as deputy prime ministers

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KATHMANDU — President Bidya Devi Bhandari has appointed Ishwor Pokhrel (Minister for Defense) and Upendra Yadav, who was inducted as Minister for Health and Population earlier, as deputy prime ministers on the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Friday.

Likewise, State Minister for Communication and Information, Gokul Baskota was promoted from state minister to Minister for Communication and Information after inclusion of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN)in the government.

With the inclusion of the FSFN into the cabinet on Friday, the KP Sharma Oli government now commands a two-thirds majority in parliament that allows the government to take any decision, including amending the constitution.

With this expansion of the cabinet, the number of ministers in the Oli governemnt has reached 24, including two deputy prime ministers and three state ministers.

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It has been learned that Prime Minister Oli was forced to break his earlier decision not to have any deputy prime minister in his cabinet after FSFN Chairman Yadav insisted on the post of deputy prime minister along with the health ministry portfolio.

The prime minister has also given Deputy Prime Ministers duo Pokharel and Yadav first and second places in the cabinet hierarchy respectively.

Leaders said the ruling NCP, formed after the unification of the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center), has agreed to give two full ministers and one state minister to FSFN in the federal cabinet.

The NCP has a total of 174 members in the 275-member House of Representatives. Altogether 16 legislators have been added to the ruling combination after the inclusion of FSFN in the cabinet.

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176 trafficked Nepalis rescued from Indo-Myanmar border

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KATHMANDU — At least 176 Nepali men and women, who were being trafficked into Myanmar, have been rescued by Manipur police and activists from different parts of Manipur, a northeastern state of India, in the last two days.

On their second day of rescue operation, the Tengnoupal police have rescued atleast 20 Nepalis including 5 women and 15 men, from a Hotel in Moreh town,Imphal Free Press, an English-language daily published from Manipur has reported.

The Moreh police have rescued as many as 60 nationals of Nepal including 45 women and 15 men.

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Earlier, over 105 Nepali women were rescued from Moreh and Imphal, the report stated.

The police team have also arrested the main suspect in the trafficking case identified as Madan Kumar Kharel, 52, Hailing from 07 Prithvinagar, Jhapa, Nepal.

The accused is reportedly responsible for bringing 20 of the 40 Nepali girls who were rescued from Moreh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Police also rescued 51 Nepalis from Imphal including 38 women and 13 men during Saturday rescue operations.

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