KATHMANDU, May 10: Main opposition CPN-UML Chairman K P Oli has rejected a proposal from ruling Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba for endorsing the constitution amendment bill in parliament immediately after the first phase local polls.
Soliciting support from the second largest party in parliament, NC President Deuba, who has his eyes on the post of prime minister once the May 14 elections are over, reached Oli’s residence at Balkot, Bhaktapur on Wednesday.
In a bid to get the amendment bill endorsed before stepping down from the government, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal also has been making some last-ditch efforts.
“Deuba sought support for endorsing the constitution amendment bill but Chairman Oli replied that the UML has made its position clear from the beginning and can’t support the current bill,” CPN-UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali told Republica. “He, however, said that UML can discuss the amendment issue after concluding the local polls.”
Deuba’s personal secretary, Bhanu Deuba, also said that Oli declined to support the amendment bill, stating that it was not possible before the polls.
The government has been planning to put the amendment bill to a vote in parliament on May 18, as per its promise to the agitating Madhes-based political parties. After failing to garner a two-thirds majority in support of the bill, the government has been approaching the UML for support.
During their meeting, Oli urged Deuba to conclude the second phase of the local polls before presenting the budget. Due to a mandatory provision in the constitution, the government must present the budget for next fiscal year on May 29.
“In response, Deuba assured Oli that the budget will be a regular one and not include any promises or ambitious announcements,” said Gyawali.
Terming the move by the ruling NC and Maoist Center to impeach Chief Justice Sushila Karki a blunder, Oli insisted that Deuba withdraw the impeachment motion without further delay.
“He insisted on withdrawal of the impeachment motion, stating that the issue would upset the power balance between state organs,” said Gyawali.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Oli drew Deuba’s attention to the murder of a UML cadre in Dolakha district, allegedly by cadres of the ruling Maoist party.