Five signatories withdraw support from no-confidence motion filed against CM Rai in province 1Nepali Congress has decided to stay neutral during the voting of the no-confidence motion.
Chief Minister of Province 1 Sherdhan Rai is likely to survive the no-confidence motion filed against him, as five signatories of the motion announced to withdraw their support and the Nepali Congress decided to stay neutral.
With the split of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, the Dahal-Nepal group had registered the no-trust motion against Rai, who is close to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on December 27. Though 37 provincial assembly members had signed the no-confidence motion, five of them have announced to withdraw their support.
On Sunday, Jasmaya Gajamer, Gopalchandra Budhathoki and Shree Prasad Mainali registered a letter at the provincial assembly secretariat stating that they no longer support the no-confidence motion. Kala Ghale and Basanti Devi Yadav had withdrawn their support earlier.
The Dahal-Nepal group’s plan to topple the Rai government seems unlikely now, as the Nepali Congress has decided to stay neutral during the voting of the no-confidence motion. At least 47 members should vote in favour of the no-confidence motion in the 93-member provincial assembly to oust CM Rai from his post.
“The Nepal Communist Party has not officially split yet. We cannot support any group until the party gets split officially. We are in a wait-and-see situation. We have the policy to form a government under our own leadership by getting support from any group of the Nepal Communist Party,” said Kedar Karki, the chief whip of Nepali Congress in Province 1.
The Province 1 assembly session is scheduled for Wednesday. According to Speaker Pradeep Kumar Bhandari, the provincial assembly session will decide the no-confidence motion through voting.
On Tuesday, the major political parties in the Province 1 assembly held meetings to prepare their strategies for the upcoming session.
The Dahal-Nepal faction and the Nepali Congress held a parliamentary party meeting while the Oli faction organised a gathering of its supporters. The Congress reiterated its stance to stay neutral regarding the no-confidence motion filed against Rai.
“The motion can also be withdrawn. Our party won’t take any formal decision unless the motion is tabled in the provincial assembly meeting for voting,” said Karki.
Chief Minister Rai on Tuesday organised a gathering of the provincial assembly members close to his group at a hotel in Biratnagar and discussed the political situation. It is learnt that the gathering decided to pressurise the provincial assembly not to allow 16 members earlier suspended by Rai to enter the assembly.
Buddhi Kumar Rajbhandari, the chief whip of the Oli faction of Nepal Communist Party, said that the assembly meeting will not be held if the suspended members are allowed to attend it.
Both the Dahal-Nepal and the Oli factions had suspended the provincial assembly members of each other’s group after the party’s split.
Likewise, the meeting of the Dahal-Nepal faction underscored the need for holding talks with Nepal Congress and other parties to make the no-confidence motion a success.
The Nepal Communist Party has a total 67 members in the provincial assembly. As many as 34 members, including 32 signatories of the motion, are with the Dahal-Nepal faction while 25 others have openly supported CM Rai. The Nepali Congress and Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal have 21 and three members respectively while Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch have one member each.
As per Article 188 (4) of the constitution, one-fourth of the total number of the assembly members may table in writing a motion of no-confidence against the chief minister. The chief minister will be removed from his/her post if the motion is endorsed by a simple majority.