Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today met President Bidya Devi Bhandari amid growing speculation about the expansion of an eight-member cabinet which has been delayed due to power-sharing dispute between the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre. The meeting was held at Rastrapati Bhawanat and the two leaders discussed contemporary issues and the latest political situation in the country, officials said. Meanwhile, senior leader of Nepali Congress Bimalendra Nidhi, who is close to Deuba, said the much-talked cabinet expansion would take place within a couple of days. Speaking at a programme in Kathmandu today, Nidhi said the expansion would take place soon after CPN-Maoist Centre chief Prachanda, who is on a personal visit to Thailand in connection with the treatment of his spouse, will return home. Expressing his confidence over the timely completion of all three levels of elections, Nidhi said the rumour surrounding the extension of the parliament by a year was baseless. Delay in expansion of the eight-member cabinet was mainly due to power sharing dispute between the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre. Besides the Prachanda-led Maoist party, leftist CPN- United and pro-Hindu Rastriya Prajatantra Party are likely to join the Nepali Congress led government. "Talks were held with ruling Nepali Congress party for the inclusion of our party's representative in the cabinet," Sunil Manandhar, a senior leader of the CPN-United, told PTI. Nidhi also said the government was committed to holding provincial and Parliamentary level elections within the stipulated time frame of nine months.
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