Decides not to reveal who it will side with in power tussle


The Nepali Congress, whose support is crucial for forming the next government and which is being wooed by both factions of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), appears to be keeping its cards close to its chest.

NC office bearers today held a meeting at party President Sher Bahadur Deuba's residence here and decided that time was not ripe to pick sides.

NC Joint General Secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat told mediapersons that his party leaders were of the view that there was no role yet for the NC as Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was still the NCP's parliamentary party leader and NCP continued to be a divided house. "NC is not in a position to call the shots yet. It will be premature for the NC to extend its support to any faction of the NCP," Mahat said. He added, "Forming an alternative government will depend on the NCP after the new session of Parliament begins."

Asked to comment on the offer of premiership to the NC by NCP factions led by Oli as well as Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, Mahat said his party had not taken those proposals seriously, as it would have been premature to do so.

Senior NC leader Ramchandra Paudel also said that extending support to any faction of the NCP at this stage would be like counting chickens before they hatch.

NC lawmaker in the National Assembly Radhe Shyam Adhikari, who is also a senior advocate, told THT that NC's decision to stay mum on who it would support in the formation of next government was a reflection of the reality of the current state where chances of NCP remaining a unified party were still there.

"The Election Commission has not taken a call on the NCP split. Nor has NCP changed its parliamentary party leader. Plus, Bamdev Gautam has been trying to reconcile differences between the rival factions. By not picking sides, NC leaders are doing what is more advantageous for them," Adhikari said.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.