No-confidence motions against Rai and Poudel to be withdrawnThe positions of Province 1 and Bagmati chief ministers were challenged after Prime Minister Oli dissolved the House of Representatives on Decmber 20 last year.
Provincial Assembly members from the Madhav Kumar Nepal-Jhala Nath Khanal faction of CPN-UML in Province 1 and Bagmati have decided to withdraw the no confidence motions they had registered against the chief ministers of the two provinces.
According to Rajendra Kumar Rai, a leader of the Nepal-Khanal faction and a Provincial Assembly member of Province 1, an agreement was reached among the top leaders at the central level three days ago to withdraw the no confidence motions against Province 1 Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai and Bagmati Province Chief Minister Dor Mani Poudel.
“The decision comes following a party meeting after the top leaders reached an agreement,” said Rai. “We have started collecting signatures of those lawmakers who had signed in favour of the motion. We will withdraw the proposal within four-five days.”
Rai informed that the faction decided to withdraw the decision due to the indecision on the part of Nepali Congress.
“The Provincial Assembly has not commenced any meeting for the past four months, and since the Nepali Congress has not come up with a decision, there is a confusion as to when this issue will be settled,” said Rai. “That is why we have decided to withdraw the proposal.”
The Nepal-Khanal faction is facing a tough time ever since the Supreme Court on March 7 scrapped the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and revived the UML and the Maoist Centre. The no confidence motions against Rai and Poudel were filed when the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) still existed and the court had not yet overturned Oli's House dissolution decision. At that time, Nepal and Khanal were with Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who was then another chair of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) along with Oli.
As many as 37 Provincial Assembly members led by Indra Bahadur Aangbo of the erstwhile Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had moved the motion against Chief Minister Rai on December 27. Similarly, 45 members of Bagmati Provincial Assembly had registered a no confidence motion against Poudel on December 25.
The court overturned Oli’s decision of dissolving the House of Representatives on February 23.
With the UML and Maoist Centre revived, politics in Kathmandu has become complicated. As the Maoist Centre has not withdrawn support it lent Oli back in February 2018, Oli does not face any immediate crisis.
Oli already has been trying to cultivate the Janata Samajbadi Party, which currently has 32 seats, in the event the Maoist Centre, which has 49 members (four have defected to Oli) in the House, decides to withdraw its support to the Oli government.
The Nepal-Khanal faction, meanwhile, is left with little option to counter Oli’s manoeuvring, with the Nepali Congress deciding to stay neutral–disinclined to file a no confidence motion against Oli and to take the initiatives to lead a new government by forging an alliance with the Maoist Centre and the Samajbadi Party.
“We will take another decision depending upon how the situation unfolds and what strategy our leadership at the central level devises,” said Rai, the leader of the Nepal-Khanal faction.