"If Oli is anti-Madhes, Dahal is also not Madhes friendly • Brikhesh Chandra Lal JSP-N leader "


The Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal, which holds the key to form the next government and to unseat the KP Sharma Oli government, is on the horns of a dilemma and is yet to take a call on whether it should support the effort to form an alternative government.

There are two schools of thought in the JSP-N, with Rajendra Mahato and Mahantha Thakur saying that they would support the party that would fulfil their demands, and Upendra Yadav and Baburam Bhattarai saying that the party should not allow Oli to remain in power.

JSP-N leader Brikhesh Chandra Lal said that unless the CPN-Maoist Centre withdrew support to the Oli government, the Nepali Congress or the JSP-N could not do much about forming the next government.

He said the CPN- MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal could not be trusted and even join hands with Oli. "We all know that Dahal deserted the 30-party alliance overnight to join hands with the NC and CPN-UML to seal 16-point deal. There is no guarantee that Dahal would not do a similar thing again," Lal said, adding, "Dahal always looks for what is more beneficial for himself."

He said that there was not much difference between Oli and Dahal as far as Madhes issues were concerned. "If Oli is anti-Madhes, Dahal is also not Madhes-friendly," he said, "Where was Dahal when the Nepali Congress brought constitution amendment bill? Dahal did not even remain neutral on the issue." Lal said both Oli and Dahal were responsible for the current political mess. "We all know power tussle between them has led to this situation," he added.

CPN-MC leader Haribol Gajurel said his party would hold its standing committee meeting tomorrow to discuss how the party should proceed.

He said discussion on the formation of the next government was not moving at expected pace also because there was division in the JSP-N on which force it should join hands with in forming the next government.

Gajurel said the Nepali Congress, the CPN-MC, and the JSP-N didn't have numbers to amend the constitution, one of the key demands of the JSP-N, but if the JSP-N joined hands with his party and the NC, then it would be easier to address JSP-N's demands.

Nepali Congress Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi said the CPN-MC or the JSP-N had not made any formal or concrete proposal to the NC to lead the next government.

A Nepali Congress leader said his party was not very enthusiastic about leading the next government also because there was no guarantee that even if the next government was formed under NC leadership with the support of CPN-MC and JSP-N, it would last long. "If the NC, CPN-MC, and JSP-N form the next government, there will be 142 lawmakers in support of the new government, only four more than clear majority. This means that if four lawmakers abstain during the voting or cross the floor, the government might fall anytime," the source added.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 23, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.