CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has returned to Baluwatar after meeting President Bidya Devi Bhandari Thursday afternoon.
Dahal had gone to Shital Niwas after discussing the recent developments with secretariat members excluding Prime Minister (PM) and fellow Chairman KP Sharma Oli at Baluwatar. He had met Oli before that stopping the ongoing standing committee meeting after the Cabinet suddenly decided to recommend prorogation of the House session.
Dahal talked with President Bhandari for almost an hour.
The Cabinet meeting that started at 12:30 Thursday afternoon took the decision to write to the president recommending prorogation of the budget session effective from five Thursday evening. President Bidya Devi Bhandari accordingly has already prorogued the House session.
The meeting had ended after hastily taking the decision for prorogation even before Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Forest Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai and others join the meeting.
The sudden prorogation of the House session has led to speculations that under-fire Oli may again bring ordinance to make splitting of political parties easier even as he is cornered inside the party.
Oli had also brought similar ordinance in April when the intra-party dispute was escalating and later took it back to defuse the situation following widespread criticism both inside and outside the ruling party.
The government cannot bring ordinances when the House session is on.
"The way he has suddenly prorogued the House session has led to suspicion that he will bring ordinances," a CPN secretariat member confided with Setopati.
The Cabinet on April 20 had brought an ordinance about political parties to make splitting of parties easier. The Cabinet had brought the ordinance allowing splitting of a party with support of 40 percent in either the parliamentary party or the central committee. The act about political parties requires support of 40 percent in both the parliamentary party and the central committee to split any political party.
Those in the anti-Oli camp now fear that he may bring similar ordinance.
An overwhelming majority of members during the ongoing standing committee meeting have demanded Oli's resignation. Oli is in similar minority even in the central committee and would struggle to muster necessary 40 percent to split the party as is required by the current law.
Bringing a similar ordinance will allow him to split ruling CPN with backing of 40 percent in just the parliamentary party should he decide to split the party. An application for registration of erstwhile CPN-UML, reportedly with Oli's blessing, has already been filed at the Election Commission.
Law Minister Shiv Maya Tungbahamphe, however, allayed such suspicions and said the House session has been prorogued due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the House business has already been finished. "The decision to recommend prorogation has been taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the House business has been completed," she pointed.
But a few important bills and agenda are still stuck in the House. The bills on citizenship, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, corruption and others were in process to be passed by the House.
The issue of endorsement of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was also stuck in the House.