Seventeen ministers affiliated to Nepal's Maoist Center resigned on Friday.
All Maoist ministers - 17 (10 cabinet and seven ministers of state) - were divested of their portfolios; they could enjoy some perks but would no longer have control over ministries and so would not be able to use them during elections. Nepali Congress and its allies would be the ones retaining control.
"Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, Minister without Portfolio (the then Health Minister) submitted the resignation letter from the Maoist Center during the cabinet meeting of Friday," Press advisor of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Govinda Pariyar said.
Maoist leaders Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Janardan Sharma, Tek Bahadur Basnet, Girirajmani Pokhrel, Pradbhu Sah, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, Shiva Kumar Mandal, Asha Khanal and Santa Kumar Tharu were amongst the 17 ministers.
Following the announcement of an alliance between the Maoist Center and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist in October last year, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stripped Maoist Center ministers of their portfolios.
Maoist ministers cited delay in National Assembly elections and stripping them off posts as reasons behind their resignations.