PM Oli urges to withdraw support to Deuba before SC verdict

The rival faction leaders of CPN-UML, who have supported Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba in order to form a new government under Article 76 (5), should withdraw their support before the Supreme Court delivers its verdict in the House of Representatives dissolution case, said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

PM Oli, addressing the Central Committee meeting on Saturday, said that the party leaders supporting the rival party leader for prime ministership cannot be loyal to the party and nobody should put their faith in such leaders.

Some lawmakers, who were close to UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, had signed Deuba’s petition expressing support towards him when he submitted his claim to form a new government under Article 76 (5).

Most of those members who had supported Deuba’s bid for prime ministership also filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking reinstatement of the House of Representatives, which is sub judice now.

According to the briefing after the Central Committee meeting by PM Oli’s Press Advisor, Surya Thapa, the PM had directed party leaders to choose before the SC verdict in the HoR dissolution case whether they want to remain in the party or are willing to join the opposition alliance.

“If some party leaders have mistakenly joined the opposition alliance, they are requested to return to the party before the SC delivers its verdict,” Thapa said.

Meanwhile, second-rung leaders from both factions – the establishment faction led by party Chair and PM Oli and the rival faction led by former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal held talks to clear the differences but failed to reach a conclusion.

Bhim Acharya, close aid to Khanal, said both sides agreed to continue unity talks. He said PM Oli held a telephonic conversation with Madhav Kumar Nepal today and urged him to withdraw his signature, but Nepal did not accept his condition.

“There should be no condition for unity. We have been telling the establishment faction that we cannot accept any condition for unity,” he said.

The Nepal-Khanal faction has been saying it cannot withdraw support to Deuba as the move was aimed at saving the constitution and democracy.

The rival faction has termed PM Oli’s move of dissolving the HoR a regressive step that could risk the hard-earned political gains institutionalised by the constitution.