The meeting of Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) at Baluwatar Wednesday evening reached informal agreement to revive the pre-election coalition.
Formal agreement will be reached by Thursday evening after holding discussion with other parties in the then ruling coalition, according to a Baluwatar source.
The meeting included top leaders of both the parties including NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Dahal briefed the meeting that cooperation with CPN-UML ended after his meeting with UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli earlier on Wednesday. He stated that coalition with UML had almost ended and NC and Maoist Center should move forward together.
Dahal has been saying that no dialogue with Oli in recent days has moved forward in the right manner. He told the Wednesday’s meeting that Oli himself spoke for almost two hours during the two-hour meeting at the latter’s residence in Balkot on Thursday, and used language of threats more than consensus and cooperation during that time.
“”PM has been saying that he became more certain that he cannot move forward together with Oli after those meetings,” the Baluwatar source stated.
Dahal told the NC leaders that CPN (Unified Socialist) and Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) should also be taken together.
Dahal wants to form a socialist center including Unified Socialist led by Madhav Nepal and Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) led by Upendra Yadav in the long run, according to another Maoist leader.
NC leaders told Dahal that they were ready to take Unified Socialist and JSP together pointing how the two parties were together in the struggle after the then PM Oli dissolved the House.
The then ruling coalition also included Rastriya Janamorcha apart from the four parties but JSP had left the coalition and decided to ally with UML just before filing nominations following differences over sharing of seats. The then ruling coalition had then allied with Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (LSP) in the plains.
NC leaders had held a meeting with Unified Socialist leaders at Deuba’s residence in Dhumbarahi before the Baluwatar meeting Wednesday evening. Unified Socialist Chairman Nepal told NC leaders that his party should get honorable status in the new coalition and added that party leaders were urging him to become president.
The NC leaders told Nepal that it would be normal for the grand old party to keep the post of president as the largest party in the House and stated that they also agreed that Unified Socialist should get a respectable and judicious space in the new coalition.
A Unified Socialist leader told Setopati that the episode of forging an alliance with UML had ended and expressed confidence that the party would reach agreement with NC and Maoist Center. “We still want to make Chairman Nepal the president. NC hinted in the meeting that we can move forward in a way that Unified Socialist gets to lead the government for a short time. It would be finalized by Thursday evening,” the leader added.
NC and Maoist leaders also discussed about how to take along Unified Socialist Chairman Nepal in the power-sharing arrangements. The Baluwatar source claimed that both NC and Maoist Center concurred that Unified Socialist would get to lead the government for a short time at a certain time.
Deuba and Dahal would finalize the length of terms as prime minister (PM) after holding discussion with Nepal. Deuba and Dahal held a separate one-on-one meeting even during the Baluwatar meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the issue.
Dahal also briefed the Baluwatar meeting that Oli warned him that NC would betray him by April and he would have to sit together with UML in the opposition. Oli also told Dahal that he did not propose to make Nepal the next president.
Dahal quit the coalition with NC and Unified Socialist on December 25, 2022 and became prime minister (PM) with support of CPN-UML, Rastriya Swatantra Party, RPP, Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP), Janamat Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party after Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba refused to make him PM first.
Oli had assured NC that UML will not ally with Maoist Center at any cost and would instead ally with NC to form the new government to encourage Deuba to break the agreement to make Dahal PM first.