Prime Minister (PM) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is preparing to take floor test on January 10 while two parties that supported his government are holding meetings with Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Dahal quit the coalition with NC and CPN (Unified Socialist) and became PM on December 25 with support of CPN-UML, Rastriya Swatantra Party, RPP, Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP), Janamat Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party after Deuba refused to make him PM first.
RPP Chairman Rajendra Lingden and JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav have been meeting Deuba in recent days as the date for floor test nears. RPP has 14 seats in the House of Representatives (HoR) and JSP 12. The two parties are supporting the Dahal government but have yet to join the government.
RPP has put conditions including national holiday on birth anniversary of late king Prithvi Narayan Shah that falls on January 11 this year to join the government. It has been demanding four ministers including a deputy PM but saying that it will join the government only if its agendas are included in the common minimum program.
It has also been holding parallel discussions with Deuba. A senior RPP leader told Setopati that Deuba has proposed to give RPP a deputy PM at the center, chief minister (CM) in Bagmati and other different posts if the right wing party quits the current ruling coalition.
RPP has 13 lawmakers and NC 37 in the Bagmati province with a 110-strong provincial assembly.
There have also been rumors that Deuba has proposed to make Lingden PM but NC Vice-president and Deuba’s confidant Purna Bahadur Khadka has refuted those rumors saying doing so would be abnormal and NC doesn’t do such politics.
What JSP Chairman Yadav has been discussing with Deuba has yet to be known but JSP leaders have confided that Yadav has been lobbying for the post of vice-president for the party. He apparently wants to make Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav, who was elected to the HoR from Bara-2, vice-president and contest the by-election from that constituency.
It has yet to be known whether Yadav has been negotiating with Deuba in a way to not vote for the Dahal government in the floor test or has just sought Deuba’s help.
Yadav has also sought Dahal’s help to make Ram Sahay vice-president. “He is ready to make any agreement for that. He has asked Dahal to help for vice-president saying he is ready for even party unification,” a JSP leader claimed.