KATHMANDU, July 27: The ruling UCPN (Maoist) party has recommended to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to appoint Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal as chief secretary. Paudyal is currently secretary at the Prime Minister´s Office.
But the UCPN (Maoist) and the ruling Madhesi parties are yet to reach consensus on Paudyal´s name as the Madhesi parties continue to have reservations over him as of Thursday evening.
According to a political source, a meeting of office bearers of the UCPN (Maoist) held at the residence of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday morning discussed probable names for the top bureaucratic post that is going to fall vacant from August 6.
A cabinet meeting scheduled for Friday morning is expected to pick the new chief secretary as incumbent Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire is going on leave from Sunday, said a minister who wishes to remain unnamed.
Meanwhile, Bhattarai and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and Minister for Physical Planning Hridayesh Tripathi at the Prime Minister´s Office Thursday afternoon in a bid to bring the Madheis parties on board in favor of Paudyal´s name.
"The Madhesi parties told the prime minister and Dahal that they would accept any of the 12 seniormost secretaries vying for the post of chief secretary except Paudyal," said a Maoist leader privy to what transpired at the meeting of Bhattarai and Dahal with Gachchhadar and Tripathi.
Though there are 12 seniormost secretaries who were promoted to their posts the same day, political sources said Secretaries Paudyal, Trilochan Upreti and Shankar Koirala are ahead in the race for the coveted top post.
Despite the differences on choice of the new chief secretary, the cabinet meeting scheduled for Friday morning will pick a secretary to work as acting chief secretary until August 5 when Ghimire´s three-year term expires.