KATHMANDU, May 7: The third largest party in the Constituent Assembly, CPN (UML) on Monday said it would support Baburam Bhatarai led government from outside, rebuking repeated calls from UCPN (M) and the Nepali Congress to be part of the coalition.
CPN (UML) decision was conveyed during a meeting with leaders of UCPN (Maoist) at their party headquarters in Balkhu on Monday evening.
"We told them we had agreed to join a government of political consensus, but the present government was the coalition of the Maoists and Mahdesi parties," said CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel. "We further told them that we could not join the government under the present situation where the Madhes based ministers have been assigned portfolios and some ministries had been restructured or created without consulting us."
The Maoist leaders told the CPN-UML leaders that it was a mistake to assign portfolios and restructure some ministries, but insisted that the decision to give portfolios to the ministers from the Madhesi parties could not be reviewed.
"We conceded our mistakes and told the CPN-UML leaders we are ready to review the decision on restructuring the ministries," said Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha. "We further told them that the decision to give the portfolios was intended to keep the Madhesi parties on board to draft the constitution,"
They also asked the CPN-UML leaders to take into account the critical situation facing the country and join the Maoist led government.
However, Pokharel said, "We told them we would support the government from outside and will play a positive role to resolve outstanding issues of constitution making."
The CPN-UML has refused to join the government although its leadership singed an agreement to form a consensus government last Thursday.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Vice Chairman and Prime Minister Bauram Bhattarai and Vice Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha had held a meeting with CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and Pokharel.