CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been regularly talking with Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba in recent days.
He called Deuba even Monday night and urged the main opposition leader to support CPN candidate for speaker and Dahal's confidant Agni Sapkoa in the election. "Dahal asked Deuba to make Sapkota unanimous candidate and promised to talk with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to give the post of deputy speaker to NC in return," a leader close to Deuba told Setopati.
Dahal also met senior NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel Tuesday morning even as the NC parliamentary party meeting was on to decide about whether to filed candidate for the post of speaker or not.
NC sources claim that Dahal told Paudel that the ruling CPN is positive about giving the post of deputy speaker to NC during the meeting.
The NC parliamentary party decided to not contest for the post of speaker shortly after the Dahal-Paudel meeting ended. "Dahal has told both Deuba and Paudel that deputy speaker can be given to NC," an NC central committee member confided. "Ruling and opposition parties have also agreed to share leadership of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and the Commission for the Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons."
NC, that had not contested the election against former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, had earlier hinted that it may field candidate this time citing that the ruling party has fielded a murder-accused in the election.
Sapkota has been accused of abduction and murder of chairman of the management committee of Sri Krishna Secondary School of Tapcha, Kavre Arjun Bahadur Lama during the Maoist insurgency.
"We had been calling for contesting the election deeming that murder-accused Sapkota should not be elected unanimously to the august post of House speaker. But Dahal and Deuba apparently talked. CPN already has a strong majority in the House and our candidacy did not have any meaning as well," the central committee member added.
Chief whip of NC Bal Krishna Khand hinted that the party did not field candidate for the post of speaker to remain in good books of future speaker Sapkota. "Speaker has a role to give importance to the opposition. We have not filed nomination to ensure that there is no ruling-opposition differences at the time of electing speaker," he stated.
When asked whether NC did not contest for speaker to get the post of deputy speaker, Khand pointed that CPN cannot contest for deputy speaker now that it has already filed candidacy for speaker, and added that CPN should leave the post to the second largest party in the House. "This will ease the environment and show that CPN has accepted the politics of consensus and cooperation," Khand added.