Kathmandu, February 2

The Rabi Lamichhane-led Rastriya Swatantra Party will wait for two days before deciding whether or not it should leave the government over home portfolio.

RSP Spokesperson Mukul Dhakal told mediapersons after his party's central committee met parliamentary party lawmakers that Lamichhane received calls from Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli, and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chair Rajendra Lingden during the meeting requesting him to wait for two days before decide on withdrawing support to the government.

Dhakal said his party wanted the home portfolio because that was the agreement between coalition partners.

"We want to deliver services and we have prepared the blueprint of our plan. Now is the time to implement our plan," Dhakal said.

He said his party would take a call on who it wanted to make the home minister after the PM agreed to give it the home portfolio.

The PM has said that he wanted to wait till the Supreme Court released full text of the verdict delivered in the case filed against Lamichhane for not getting his Nepali citizenship restored after renouncing his American citizenship.

The SC invalidated Lamichhane's election to the House of Representatives last week. Some RSP lawmakers are not in favour of quitting the government over the home portfolio.

Meanwhile, UML Chair Oli has thrown his weight behind Lamichhane. Talking to mediapersons in Biratnagar today, Oli said ruling coalition partners had reached an agreement that the home portfolio should be given to the RSP and they needed to abide by that. He said full text of the verdict was not necessary to decide on the home portfolio.

"Why do we need the full text? Do we need it to recite its contents?" he wondered.

Asked to comment on Nepali Congress leader Shashank Koirala's remarks that the NC would join the government if given the home portfolio, Oli said the NC would join the government even if its leader was made a Minister of State for Home Affairs.

CPN-MC Vice-chair Krishna Bahadur Mahara told mediapersons after his party's standing committee meeting that the RSP needed to have patience as the SC had not yet released the full text of the verdict. He said Oli's contention that the RSP should get the home portfolio was his personal view and had not created any rift in the ruling alliance.

After the CPN-MC meeting, Dahal said he did not think that the RSP would leave the government.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 3, 2023, of The Himalayan Times.