Nepal PM reshuffles cabinet

In a cabinet reshuffle, Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bhadur Deuba ousted all Maoist leaders shortly after alliance partner Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) decided against quitting the government, the latest indication of widening cracks in the ruling coalition. Deuba appointed Chairman Kamal Thapa as Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister, Dil Nath Giri as Minister for Urban Development, Jayanta Chand as Minister for Supplies, Bikram Thapa as Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare. Likewise, four state ministers without portfolio are now assigned to the post of state ministers with Bhaskar Bhadra was appointed State Minister for Energy, Sushil Kumar Shrestha as State Minister for Supplies, Kunti Shahi as State Minister for Urban Development, Kanta Bhattarai has been appointed as State Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare. All 17 members of Maoist Center were relieved of their portfolios. Strength of Deuba's cabinet stands at 64. Deuba became the prime minister five months ago as Maoist Center leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal stepped down.