Difficult times for PM Oli : Hard to retain power without support from Madhav Nepal faction
Even though Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli tried to retain power with the former Rajapa faction within the Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP), that ‘card’ is no longer useful. A recent example of this is the vote of confidence taken by Karnali Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi.
UML’s Oli faction MPs had brought a no-confidence motion against Karnali Chief Minister Shahi & had high hopes that the no-confidence motion would be passed. But dramatically four lawmakers from senior leader Madhav Nepal’s faction crossed the floor and voted for Chief Minister Shahi, Shahi’s post was saved for a year last Friday.
This is a clear indication that it is not easy for PM Oli to retain power. The way Oli has treated the Nepal faction in the party, the Nepal side has also responded to Oli from Karnali. It is seen that Oli will not be able to stay in power only with one side of JSP. In the UML, Nepal faction is seen as essential for Oli.
Karnali incident may be repeated
If PM Oli does not show flexibility, similar incidents may happen in other states also.
According to a UML leader, Oli has forwarded towards the direction of splitting the party but that will be to his detriment. The leader asked -“Oli can do whatever he can with his power, but is it a crime to vote for the Karnali Chief Minister?” He also said that Oli had made a mistake by allocating ministerial posts to those who joined the UML from the CPN Maoist Centre while UML has a portfolio of 121 MPs. “If PM Oli doesn’t correct himself, the Karnali incident could repeat again in Lumbini, Gandaki and Province 1,” the leader further stated.
Oli’s own faction also dissatisfied.
According to a leader of the Oli faction, the Karnali incident took place after the ruling of the Supreme Court on Falgun 23, 2077 BS revived the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Center and Oli, as the party chairperson, started irritating the Nepal faction. He says that Oli’s behavior will lead the UML in the direction of division. The leader said that Nepal faction should be taken in confidence as soon as possible.
Relying on Jasapa won’t be a solution for PM Oli
In Karnali after the UML-Nepal MPs crossed the floor and cast their vote for Chief Minister Shahi; Prime Minister Oli’s statement that he will extend his government by taking the former Rajapa faction of the JSP in confidence would be his wrong analysis.
It cannot be said that the incident in Karnali will not be repeated in the center. The Nepal faction has 38 MPs & PM Oli’s power cannot be saved without their support. In the current arithmetic of the House of Representatives, the UML has 121 members , the Nepali Congress has 63 members (two suspended) and four out of 53 members of the Maoist Centre have joined the UML and their portfolio as MP has been suspended. Now the Maoist center has only 49 MPs. Jasapa has 34 (two suspended) MPs. Similarly, RPP, Janamorcha and Nepal Mazdoor Kisan Party have one MP each. The support of 138 MPs is needed to form the government.
A leader of the Nepal faction side says, “Our fight is against the wrong culture that Oli has tried to instill in the party.”
Oli will still face difficulties for a while
According to top political sources, Prime Minister Oli’s government will be extended. The perception of the southern neighbor is that the extension of Oli government will benefit them in the long run. This is the very reason why the Nepali Congress, Maoist and JSP alliance have not been able to form a government. This is also one of the reasons why a faction of JSP is soft on Oli. Although the parties against the dissolution of the House of Representatives are united against Oli’s unconstitutional move, the attempt to balance power with Oli’s alternative has not been successful.
Some say that this is the reason why the Nepali Congress has not rushed in. Even if a government is formed as an alternative to Oli, NC is of the view that internal and external forces can exercise and change the government. However, a leader of the Nepali Congress (NC) said that the Congress is looking for an alternative to Oli only on the pretext of Oli’s chances of rigging the general election.