CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Senior Leader Madhav Kumar Nepal are working for withdrawal of the no confidence motion registered against Karnali Chief Minister (CM) Mahendra Bahadur Shahi even as the rebels seem to have blessings of Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli.
Eighteen CPN lawmakers including 15 from erstwhile CPN-UML and three from CPN (Maoist Center) on Sunday registered no confidence motion at the parliamentary party against CM Shahi who is a former Maoist.
Dahal met Oli at Baluwatar for almost an hour on Monday and expressed displeasure at the developments in Karnali that he called are against unification even before the unification process has been completed.
A source close to Dahal confided that Oli called the issue an internal affairs of the province and pointed that the comrades there had prior agreement about taking turn as CMs. Dahal countered saying such agreement was in place even at the center and urged Oli to stop the game in Karnali as he has agreed for a full term of Oli as PM.
Yam Lal Kandel, who led the registration of no confidence motion, is close to Oli.
Dahal met Nepal after meeting Oli on Monday and the source close to Dahal added that Nepal called the efforts to change CM inappropriate and agreed that the lawmakers should be asked to withdraw the motion. Eight of the 15 erstwhile UML lawmakers, who registered the motion, are from the Nepal faction.
Karnali Incharge of the party and standing committee member Janardan Sharma, a former Maoist leader, is active for withdrawal of the motion at the center while central member from Nepal faction Niraj Acharya is working in Surkhet to resolve the crisis.
Under-fire CM Shahi has already removed chief whip of ruling CPN Gulab Jung Shah and replaced him with lawmaker Sita Nepali
"You were appointed chief whip of the provincial assembly as per clause seven of the provincial parliamentary party statute and now have been relieved of responsibilities as your performance has not been satisfactory," the pink slip issued by CM Shahi, the parliamentary party leader, states.
Shah as chief whip had registered the motion immediately after it was submitted on Sunday and even called parliamentary party meeting for Tuesday within a few hours. CM Shahi is understood to have removed Shah after he called the meeting.
The termination letter sent by Shahi to Shah is dated Sunday in an apparent effort to delegitimize the parliamentary party meeting the latter called on Sunday. Shahi has called the parliamentary meeting only on October 23. But the rebels look set to go ahead with the meeting on Tuesday.
Leaders from Dahal and Nepal faction will try to make the lawmakers from their faction withdraw the motion before that. Some lawmakers from the factions may honor the instruction from center but a few look set to defy the central leaders.
CPN has 33 lawmakers in the 40-strong provincial assembly with 20 from erstwhile UML and 13 Maoists. Kandel, who was a central leader of UML for a long time and a minister at the center, expected to be the CM as UML alone had majority in the province. But Shahi was made CM despite the then Maoists having just 13 lawmakers as part of the power sharing agreement that gave the post of CM to UML in four of the six provinces where the two parties together secured majority and to Maoist Center in two provinces.
The 15 erstwhile UML lawmakers who signed in the no confidence motion include seven from the Oli camp and eight from the faction of Senior Leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.