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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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Wildfire goes out of control in Parbat

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PARBAT— A wildfire that engulfed hundreds of hectares of two community forests at Bihadi Rural Municipality in the district has yet to come under control.

The inferno that took place at around 9 am on Thursday continues to rage, advancing towards the nearby settlements at Lingsing, Taltum, Lugring and Bhaterpata, putting lives at risk, said the police. The locals have been asked to stay alert.

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“At present, the flame is at the cliff above Salghari. It may engulf the nearby entire settlements if not taken under control soon,” said local resident Rishiram Bhusal. Thousands of rupees worth of healthy trees and medicinal herbs have been burnt down so far in the inferno, said the police.

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