#Fear of political instability

On the eve of 14th Loktantra Diwas, PM Oli reignited “dirty games” in Nepali politics

Published On: April 23, 2020 10:44 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 23: On the eve of the 14th Loktantra Diwas, PM KP Sharma Oli orchestrated a massive political drama, eclipsing Sher Bahadur Deuba’s long-forgotten strategy of flipping members of parliament overnight. Biswadeep Pandey, deputy chief of central communication department and central committee member of Samajwadi party, has been tweeting (@BishwadeepP) the political drama since late last night. He Tweeted at 7:43PM last night, saying that the former state minister of health and central committee member of Samajwadi Party, Dr. Surendra Yadav, was “kidnapped from his home in Janakpur and was brought to Kathmandu, on the direct orders from PM Oli”. 

PM Oli's rather dirty political moves come at a time when the country is waging a battle against the coronavirus pandemic, and Udaypur district is inching towards becoming our hotspot of the virus. On Monday, PM Oli single-handedly decided to amend two ordinances, without consulting his party members and the opposition parties. The first ordinance amends provisions of the Political Party Act to make it easy to split political parties, while the second ordinance makes it possible to convene a meeting of the Constitutional Council even without the participation of the main opposition party leader. The Constitutional Council, headed by the prime minister, makes constitutional appointments. The new ordinance allows leaders of a political party to split the party if they have  40 percent support either in the central committee or in the parliamentary party.p

Nepali Congress (NC) has termed the move by the prime minister as “the most tragic event in Nepal’s history” and has demanded to withdraw the ordinances immediately. Similarly, other parties have also demanded that the government withdraw the two ordinances. 

Political scientists, civil society members and members of opposition political parties have termed Oli’s latest moves a ploy to destabilize Nepali politics for his personal gains. Members of his own party, NCP, have also warned Oli to withdraw the ordinances. Bhim Rawal, NCP’s central committee member, urged Oli to withdraw the ordinances.  

In this backdrop, political movements sped up last night. At 1 , Samajwadi Party and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) announced their merger. A new political party was born on Wednesday midnight: Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP). The agreement was signed by Mahantha Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Mahendra Raya Yadav and Saratsingh Bhandari on behalf of the RJPN, and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Upendra Yadav, Ashok Rai and Rajendra Shrestha signed the document on behalf of Samajwadi Party. As per the deal, JSP will use Samajwadi Party’s flag and umbrella as its election symbol.

In the meantime, seven members of parliament from Samajwadi Party decided to quit the party, and launch a new political force. MPs Surendra Yadav, Mohammad Istiyak Rai, Pradeep Yadav, Umashankar Argariya, Kaludevi Biswakarma and Renuka Gurung and Renu Yadav held a meeting at Yadav’s residence in New Baneswor last night. 

Samajwadi Party and RJPN both have 17 seats each in the parliament. RJPN’s Resham Chaudhary is currently serving a jail time and his seat is currently suspended. 

The drama will unfold today, as whichever party first registers with the Election Commission sets next political moves. If Janata Samajwadi Party registers first, then the seven MPs won’t have 40% they need to form a new political party, as the JSP will have 33 seats in the parliament. But if the seven MPs get to register first then they will have 40% of the 17 seats that Samajwadi has in the parliament. 

The drama will unfold at the Election Commission today.  

And Biswadeep Pandey (@BishwadeepP) has Tweeted this morning, saying that his team “rescued” Dr. Surendra Yadav from “PM Oli’s clutches”, and that they are discussing strategies to avoid the party from splitting and foil PM Oli’s dirty game. 

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