KATHMANDU, Oct 12: Chairman of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Friday that NCP leader Bamdev Gautam has already decided to backtrack on his decision to contest a by-election from Kathmandu-7.
“Gautam himself has already made it clear that he has changed his mind and not going to contest by-election from Kathmandu-7. Hence, the row has also come to an end,” Dahal said at a function in the capital on Friday.
Dahal’s remark comes at a time when the NCP leaders have been sharply divided over Gautam’s plan to vie by-election from Kathmandu-7.
Most of the senior leaders of the party including party chairman and Prime Minister Oli had stood against the proposal emanating from the other party chairperson, Dahal, to field Gautam in the by-election from Kathmandu after getting incumbent lawmaker Rambir Manandhar to vacate the parliamentary seat.
Manandhar was quite ready to vacate the seat and pave the way for former deputy prime minister Gautam. “He decided to back off for now from his plan to contest from Kathmandu-7, following non-cooperation from other party leaders,” Gautam’s confidant Bhoj Bikram Magar had said on Thursday.
Ever since his defeat in the House of Representatives election from his home district of Bardiya, Gautam had been lobbying to become a lawmaker through a by-election after getting an incumbent to resign. But lawmaker from Dolpa Dhan Bahadur Budha turned down Gautam’s request that he resign. Then, Dahal had taken the initiative to persuade Manandhar to resign from Kathmandu-7 and open the way for Gautam.