Leader of the Khanal-Nepal faction of CPN-UML Bhim Rawal has said that lawmakers of the faction should resign to stop UML Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli from taking undemocratic steps.
Pointing that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, Rawal has hinted that the dissident lawmakers may resign en masse. "Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. It is necessary to oust Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to stop him from additional activities against national interest, party statute and democracy. We should facilitate that by resigning from the House. That is more appropriate from political morality and legal perspective," Rawal has tweeted on Wednesday.
Lawmakers of the faction had threatened to resign before the floor test on Monday but they stepped back and decided to abstain from the House that day.
The motion for confidence vote presented by PM Oli received only 93 votes on Monday while 124 lawmakers voted against the government and 15 decided to neither support nor oppose the motion.
Twenty-eight lawmakers of the Khanal-Nepal faction of CPN-UML did not attend the House proceedings despite the ruling party issuing a whip instructing all the lawmakers to vote in support of the motion.
NC President Deuba, Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav issued a joint statement urging President Bhandari to invite parties to form majority government as per Article 76(2) of the Constitution immediately after Oli flunked the floor test. President Bhandari did so a few hours later giving the parties a deadline of nine Thursday night to form majority government.
The current strength of HoR is 271 after Maoist Center expelled four lawmakers who joined CPN-UML after the Supreme Court (SC) invalidated unification of UML and Maoist Center on March 7.
Ruling UML currently has 121 lawmakers, NC 63 (but two are suspended), Maoist Center has 49 (including Speaker), JSP 34 (including two suspended) and three lawmakers are independent.
The parties will have to muster support of 136 lawmakers to form the majority government as per Article 76(2) of the Constitution.
JSP is currently divided on whether to form a government excluding UML or not. JSP leaders Baburam Bhattarai and Upendra Yadav, coming from erstwhile Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, publicly demanded toppling of Oli government and want to form a majority government with NC and Maoist Center while leaders from the erstwhile Rashtriya Janata Party like Thakur and Rajendra Mahato were negotiating with Oli and are unwilling to join the alliance with NC and Maoist Center.
Thakur and Mahato earlier on Wednesday met President Bidya Devi Bhandari and reportedly urged her to reject the proposal if another Chairman Upendra Yadav sends a letter to form majority government. They pointed that Yadav is the second-ranked chairman and the Election Commission also recognizes Thakur's signature.
More than 20 lawmakers of the Khanal-Nepal faction of UML will have to resign to bring down the strength of House to ensure that the parties can muster majority even without support of the Thakur-Mahato faction.
Rawal, who met NC President Deuba along with Madhav Kumar Nepal on Tuesday, has hinted that the faction may opt to resign to ensure that Oli is finally ousted from Baluwatar.