UML seeks clarification from 22 lawmakers who voted for Deuba during confidence voteAs conflict escalates with growing bitterness between Oli and Nepal, the spectre of party split raises its head.
The CPN-UML conflict has escalated further after as many as 22 of its lawmakers on Sunday voted for Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba during his vote of confidence.
On Monday, a Central Committee meeting of UML decided to seek clarification from all 22 lawmakers who defied the party whip.
Bishnu Rijal, a Central Committee member of the UML, confirmed that Monday’s meeting decided to seek clarification from 22 Members of Parliament.
“Besides, the meeting also endorsed the 10-point proposal drafted by the 10-member task force for party unity,” Rijal told the Post.
On July 12, a day ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on House dissolution, the task force, which had five members each from the Oli and Nepal factions, had drafted a 10-point proposal in a bid to keep the party unity intact.
Nepal, however, refused to own up the document later.
Deuba on Sunday won House confidence with 165 lawmakers voting for him, and of them 22 were from the UML–14 from the Madhav Nepal faction and eight from party chair KP Sharma Oli group.
Birodh Khatiwada, Jevan Ram Shrestha, Kalyani Khadka, Metmani Chaudhary, Bhawani Khapung, Mukunda Neupane, Parvati Bishanke, Hira KC, Krishna Kumar Shrestha and Gopal Bam had voted for Deuba. Similarly, Prem Bahadur Ale, Dhan Bahadur Budha, Bina Budhathoki, Sarala Yadav, Pushpa Kumari Karna, Laxmi Chaudary, Nirudevi Jairu, Ram Kumari Jhakri, Kalila Khautn, Sabina Hussien and Karishna Lal Maharjan also voted for Deuba.
Hours before the voting on Deuba’s vote of confidence motion, Bhim Rawal, a key leader from the Nepal faction, had resigned as lawmaker.
As many as 23 lawmakers from the Nepal faction had supported the Deuba-led alliance’s petition in the Supreme Court demanding the reinstatement of the House, which was dissolved by Oli on May 21, and the Congress leader’s appointment as prime minister.
Oli had even called Nepal a traitor after the Supreme Court on July 12 reinstated the House and directed the Office of the President to appoint Deuba as prime minister.
With some members of the Nepal faction as well as eight from Oli’s camp voting for Deuba on Sunday, the spectre of a split is looming over the UML.
With growing bitterness between Oli and Nepal, insiders say, the situation is not favourable for them to remain under the same roof.
Speculations are rife that Nepal could break away from the UML and form a new party or he would try to forge an alliance with leftist forces, including the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre).
The party’s Standing Committee meeting is currently ongoing at party chair Oli’s residence in Balkot.