Co-chair of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal was today elected the parliamentary party leader of his faction of the party.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who was removed as party co-chair, as well as from the membership of the party, by the NCP faction led by Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, continues to claim that he cochairs the NCP and leads its parliamentary party.

After the meeting of his faction of the parliamentary party, Dahal told mediapersons that the meeting was called after 25 per cent of parliamentary party members submitted a petition demanding a parliamentary party meeting and 115 members elected him as the new parliamentary party leader of the party. NCP parliamentary party consists of party's lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. The NCP has 174 members in the Lower House and 48 members in the Upper House. Three members who were nominated to the NA by the president also support the NCP.

Dahal said the party fulfilled all legal procedures to hold the meeting and the meeting was chaired by the senior-most member of the parliamentary party. He said becoming the parliamentary leader of the party was an opportunity and a challenge.

Dahal urged lawmakers associated with Oli to join his faction, claiming support of majority of the party's lawmakers.

Asked if his faction would register a no-trust motion against Oli, Dahal said, "We want the PM to resign from his post. If he resigns, it will be an easy way out, if not, we will initiate the process of removing him through the parliamentary process as per the law and the constitution."

He said by not resigning, the PM was forcing his faction to register a no-trust motion against him.

Asked if he would be contesting the PM's post, Dahal said his faction had been holding talks with the Nepali Congress and Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal that protested against the PM's unconstitutional move dissolving the HoR. "Within a day or two, we'll reach a deal." He said his faction was ready to join hands with the NC and the JSP-N on the basis of agenda.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 06, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.