There have been rumors about change in the ruling coalition following remarks by top coalition leaders in recent times but both the ruling and opposition parties have ruled that out.
Prime Minister (PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal last week said that CPN (Maoist Center) would rather quit the government and go to the people instead of going easy on corruption pointing at fears in the people that the investigation may be compromised as senior leaders of the two biggest parties were implicated in corruption.
CPN (Unified Socialist) Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal claimed that CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli was trying to woo Nepali Congress (NC) saying the main opposition party would support NC and allow the latter to lead the government.
NC General Secretary Gagan Thapa, meanwhile, said that the coalition would be changed if it did not function properly, and added that NC is ready to fight alone even if UML were to join the newly formed Socialist Front.
UML Vice-chairman and Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader Subash Chandra Nembang opined that formation of the Socialist Front pointed at something. “I am someone who argues. Dahal must have formed the front knowing something,” he quipped. “Some say that the front has been created to scare NC and UML. Who knows! He may well have formed the front knowing something.”
He, however, refuted speculations that UML was trying to break the coalition adding that he remained in close contact with Oli and he did not yet know about such efforts. He instead pointed how ruling lawmakers and even ministers were unhappy with the recently brought budget for the next fiscal year.
Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) President Rabi Lamichhane also raised questions about a few parties in the ruling coalition forming the front when the leader of the largest party in the coalition was outside the country.
Maoist leaders close to Dahal while conceding that there have been displeasure in some parties on the issue of budget have refuted the rumors about change in ruling coalition. “Upendra Yadav (JSP chair) and Madhav Kumar Nepal are unhappy with the budget. Finance Minister also seems to have erred,” Maoist lawmaker Madhav Sapkota said. “The way to resolve this is for the Finance Minister to express commitment to address the grievances while giving answers, and transfer funds to address the issues.”
He, however, ruled out any chance of toppling the government over the budget. Maoist Center Secretary Devendra Paudel also concurred. “There must be institutional decision to change the government,” he pointed. “It cannot be imagined until anyone takes decision.”
Some Maoist leaders also seem to be talking about UML Senior Vice-chairman Ishwar Pokharel meeting NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba at Singapore where the latter had gone for treatment.
But UML Central Member Krishna Bahadur KC, who has gone to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia along with Pokharel to attend a program, refuted that. “We reached Malaysia on Saturday. We were in the program until late Sunday night. It is morning now. How is it possible to meet Deuba who was at Singapore on the day we arrived?”
Unified Socialist Vice-chairman Rajendra Pandey told Setopati that the party’s leaders asked Deuba about the rumors about meeting Pokharel in Singapore during the meeting of ruling coalition Saturday afternoon.
Pandey revealed that Deuba refuted those rumors and stressed that he had gone to Singapore solely for eye treatment, and didn’t even met media-persons there. “KP Oli is restless after being out of the government. The person who cannot remain outside the government even for a moment has to stay out now. This is restlessness of that,” he added. “Why would Congress change the government now? It has the important ministries including the Finance Ministry! This is, therefore, worthless rumors spread by UML.”