KATHMANDU, APRIL 7
More than one month after the Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives, the three parties - the Nepali Congress, the CPN-Maoist Centre, and the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal - that launched street agitation against the dissolution of the Lower House have not been able to cobble together a coalition to form the next government.
CPN-MC Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said his party was waiting for NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba to hold talks with his party and the JSP-N about the formation of the next government.
"Since the NC has decided to form the next government under its leadership, we are waiting for Deuba to hold talks with us and the JSP-N," Shrestha said. He added that although his party had not officially withdrawn support to the government, it wasn't supporting the government either.
JSP-N leader Rajendra Mahato, however, said that forming the next government was not his party's agenda. "Forming the next government may be the NC and the CPN-MC's agenda, not ours. We only want our demands fulfilled. For that we are holding dialogue with the government.
Talks are positive," Mahato said. He said the government had assured the JSP-N that it was working on withdrawing false cases filed against its cadres and leaders.
Another JSP-N leader Brikhesh Chandra Lal said that even the NC was not interested in forming the next government because it did not trust communist forces, particularly the CPN-Maoist Centre. He said the JSP-N also did not trust the CPN- UML or the CPN-MC. "As far as the CPN-MC is concerned, we were betrayed when Dahal-led Maoists left the 30-party alliance to seal the 16-point agreement with UML and NC in 2015. Dahal-led Maoists actively supported the government and two major parties - the CPN-UML and NC - during Madhes agitation.
It did not do anything to stop the crackdown against Madhesis," said Lal.
He said since the CPN-MC had not withdrawn support to the government, other parties suspected that they were still trying to unify left forces, although CPN-MC had sacked lawmakers who defected to the CPN-UML.
Asked to comment on JSP-N Co-chair Upendra Yadav and senior leader Baburam Bhattarai voicing support to the idea of toppling the KP Sharma Oli-led government and forging a coalition of the NC, the JSP-N and the CPN-MC to form the next government, Lal said there might be a divergence of opinions in the party, but most likely the party would remain neutral on the question of forming the next government. "I do not think that our party would take a majority decision," he said.
Joint General Secretary of Nepali Congress Prakash Sharan Mahat said his party had officially decided to form the next government and was holding talks with the CPN-MC and JSP-N, but in vain.
"The CPN-MC has not withdrawn support to the government.
Moreover, JSP-N, which will be a key player if the government has to be toppled, has not yet decided whether it wants to do so," Mahat added.
When asked about the release of JSP-N leader Resham Chaudhary, Mahat said the Supreme Court would decide that.
A version of this article appears in the print on April 8, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.