People's Review Weekly

NC leaders divide over continuity of coalition government

- By Our Reporter

As Nepali Congress leaders have started seeking alternativ­es to the present government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', the future of the present coalition has become uncertain. While the rival faction of NC led by Shekhar Koirala has strongly stood against the Dahal-led government, even within the establishm­ent faction of the NC, many leaders have been voicing for the replacemen­t of Dahal-led government by forming an NC-led government. Koirala and NC general secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa have been strong critics of the government since the beginning. They argued that Dahal's activities were anarchical. They also claimed that the government was jailing NC leaders but was not interrogat­ing the Maoist leaders involved in the gold smuggling case. Moreover, Koirala and Thapa are against the electoral alliance with the Maoists in the next elections, and if the present coalition continues, they will have no option but to continue the electoral alliance. So, they strategica­lly want to pull down the present government, and they are ready to form the NCUML government.

While the rival faction wants the immediate ousting of Dahal, many leaders and ministers of NC are also against the continuati­on of the government. The ministers from NC have accused the PM of interferin­g in their ministries, sending secretarie­s of the communist background and preventing them from making important decisions. Many NC leaders close to party president Sher Bahadur Deuba are also against the coalition, mainly for targeting the NC leaders in many cases.

However, Deuba has not listened to the voices of NC leaders opposing the government. He was reported to have said that Dahal would not 'betray' him.

According to the gentleman agreement reached among Dahal, Deuba and Madhav Kumar Nepal, Dahal will lead the government for two and a half years, then Nepal will lead it for a year and Deuba for one and a half years. But many NC leaders suspect whether Deuba will be able to become PM because if NC does not want to forge an electoral alliance in the 2027 polls, Dahal may forge an alliance with the UML, preventing Deuba from becoming PM. In the next election, Deuba will not be party president and he cannot decide the alliance as he did last year.

Again, PM Dahal recently said that he might continue as the PM for a full five-year term. This has also made NC leaders suspicious. In the meantime, Madhav Nepal said that conspiraci­es were being hatched to oust his party CPN (Unified Socialist) from the present coalition.

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