Nepal’s Prime Minister removes Deputy Prime Minister from his cabinet

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Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has removed the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel out of the defense ministry in a cabinet reshuffle. It is seen as an effort to reset ties with its neighbor country- India. Ishwar Pokhrel has been one of India’s sharpest critics in PM Oli’s cabinet. Pokhrel has been attached to the Prime Minister’s office as a minister without a portfolio. This reshuffling has been made ahead of the visit of Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane of Nepal which is scheduled on November 3, 2020. Earlier this year, Ishwar Pokhrel had sought to provoke Gurkha soldiers who have been an integral part of the Indian army for decades. It has also been said that Pokhrel opposed General Naravane’s November 3 visit and wanted India to first sit across the table to discuss the boundary dispute between India and Nepal. Pokhrel ties with his own army chief General Purna Chandra Thapa were in constraint. He also faced corruption charges in the procurement of medical equipment from China. PM Oli has appointed him to lead the country’s high level Covid-19 crisis management centre but later on he was blamed for messing up the handling of the coronavirus crisis in Nepal.

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