Dahal defends NC-Maoist alliance, flays PM Oli

KATHMANDU: CPN Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday defended his move to defect from the KP Sharma Oli-led coalition government and form an alliance with the Nepali Congress, saying all parties are free to make their own decisions.

He came down heavily upon Prime Minister Oli and accused him of betrayal. As Oli refused to implement the agreements that their parties had forged earlier to run the government and hand over the premiership, according to him, he was compelled to shake hands with the Nepali Congress.

Dahal was speaking to reporters at his personal residence in Lazimpat this evening. Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal was also present on the occasion.

The former prime minister said there still was scope of forming a consensus government, and efforts would continue for that.

Recalling the 16-point deal among the major parties -- Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and then UCPN-Maoist -- to promulgate the new constitution, Dahal shared that an agreement among the top three leaders was that Sushil Koirala, then Prime Minister and President of Nepali Congress, would be made the President and KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of CPN-UML, the Prime Minister in support of the Maoist party.

Maoists stuck to the agreement to make Oli the Prime Minister, while Koirala did not choose to become the President and breached the agreement, he said.

"Oli, however, did not follow the spirit of coalition. Repeatedly, he was told [to stick to the agreement] through letters and in discussions, but he was reluctant to take heed. On the other hand, lawyers and human rights activists close to Oli were seen standing resolute to file cases against the Maoist cadres," Dahal said.

According to him, Oli ignored the repeated call to withdraw several conflict-era cases and started running the government arbitrarily going against the agreemeent the two parties.

After Oli refused to implement the nine-point deal and three-point gentlemen's agreement, the Maoist party negotiated with the Nepali Congress and forged the seven-point agreement to form a new alliance, he added.