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Nepal: Prachanda-led Maoist Centre Recalls Its Ministers from KP Sharma Oli's Cabinet

File photo of Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

File photo of Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

The decision was taken by the standing committee meeting of the CPN-MC held this morning at Paris Danda.

Nepal’s CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’ on Saturday recalled its ministers from the Cabinet led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and directed all its leaders nominated at the CPN-UML Central Committee to make their positions clear within 24 hours, intensifying the rift between the two factions. Among the ministers called back are Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Minister for Water Supply Mani Chandra Thapa, Urban Development Minister Prabhu Shah, Minister for Youth and Sports Dawa Lama Tamang and Minister for Labour Gauri Shankar Chaudhary, the Kathmandu Post reported.

The decision was taken by the standing committee meeting of the CPN-MC held this morning at Paris Danda, the Centre’s party office here. ”Our Standing Committee meeting has decided to call back all our ministers in the federal government and told the leaders nominated by UML to make their position clear within 24 hours,” Devendra Poudel, a Standing Committee member, was quoted as saying by the daily.

”We will begin action against those failing to abide by the party’s decisions, he said. As per the legal provision, lawmakers will lose their seats in the upper house and the lower house of Parliament if they choose to leave the party or their party decides to expel them from the party.

On Friday, the Central Committee meeting of the CPN (UML) led by Prime Minister Oli had nominated 23 leaders of Maoist Centre, including the ministers to the party’s central committee which the faction opposing him has said is against the norms of the party. Since the Supreme Court invalidated the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) merger and revived its constituents CPN-UML and Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Centre) on Sunday last, Oli has been keeping at bay the faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal that had opposed him and tightening his hold on the party by relieving leaders close to Nepal from party positions, the daily said.

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Nepal’s Election Commission on Tuesday asked the CPN (UML) led by Oli and the CPN (Maoist Center) led by Prachanda to come up with a new name and election symbol of the party if they decide to merge their parties again after the Supreme Court quashed the 2018 unification of the two parties. The CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Centre) merged in May 2018 to form a unified Nepal Communist Party following the victory of their alliance in the 2017 general elections.

On last Sunday, the apex court quashed their unification and granted authenticity of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to Rishiram Kattel, who had registered the party at the Election Commission in his name prior to the formation of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led by Oli and Prachanda. Kattel had challenged the Election Commission’s decision to register Nepal Communist Party (NCP) under Oli and Prachanda in May 2018.

The bench said that a new party cannot be registered with the Election Commission when it already has a party registered with a similar name. The two parties had forged an electoral alliance with an agreement to unify the two parties after the election.

Oli, in a surprise move, dissolved Parliament in December last year, amidst a tussle for power with Prachanda. The ruling NCP split over Oli’s move to dissolve the 275-member House of Representatives. In a landmark ruling, the apex court last month reinstated the lower house of Parliament.

first published:March 13, 2021, 19:11 IST