KATHMANDU, Sept 14: With Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchadar relenting in his stance on the choice of new police chief, the government has finally appointed Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Kuber Singh Rana as the next Inspector General of Police (IGP).
According to Information and Communications Minister Rajkishor Yadav, a cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar Thursday afternoon decided to appoint Rana as the new IGP, acting on a proposal floated by the home minister himself.
Sources said that Gachchhadar was compelled to backtrack from his earlier stance in favor of appointing AIG Bhishma Prasai as new police chief as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai stuck to his position on Rana and the constituent parties of the ruling United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) did not support Gachchhadar on the issue.
A meeting of UDMF top brass on Thursday maintained that the Madhesi alliance should not turn the appointment of the IGP into an issue. "As it (appointing IGP) is the prerogative of the prime minister, our meeting concluded that UDMF and the home minister should not make it an issue," Yadav told Republica.
Asked why the home minister stepped back from his earlier stance, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) leader Ram Janam Chaudhari, who is close to Gachchhadar, said the home minister agreed over the issue for the sake of understanding [among the ruling parties].
"He (Gachchhadar) concluded why to quarrel over the issue as there could be only one IGP from among the three contenders [Rana, Prasai and Navraj Dhakal]," Chaudhari added.
He stated that Bhattarai and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had arrived at consensus on the issue before the cabinet meeting.
Though the cabinet meeting was called for 2:30 pm, Gachchhadar arrived at 3:45 pm.
Responding to questions raised by media persons, Yadav, who is also the government´s spokesperson, said there was no dispute over the issue. "He (Rana) was unanimously appointed," he stated.
Earlier, the ruling parties had entrusted Dahal, Bhattarai and Gachchhadar with sorting out the differences over the issue as they had failed to pick a name for police chief.