KATHMANDU, May 24: Expressing strong reservations over the government´s plan to seek extension of the CA term in disregard of the Supreme Court verdict, the Nepali Congress (NC) has decided to pull out from the Baburam Bhattarai-led government.
A Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held at the party´s headquarters in Sanepa Thursday took a decision to this effect just 18 days after it joined the government following a five-point deal reached among three major parties and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) .
The meeting decided to forward the resignation letters of Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Minister Surya Man Gurung, who represented the party in the government, to Prime Minister Bhattarai. The duo had earlier in the day submitted their resignations to NC President Sushil Koirala.
The CWC has concluded that the party´s stance against extending the CA´s term has been proven constitutionally right following SC´s interim order.“Expressing disagreement over the government plan, the meeting decides to forward the resignations submitted by Deputy Prime Minister Sitaula and Minister Gurung to the prime minister for approval,” says a press statement issued after the meeting.
The CWC meeting also concluded that Prime Minister Bhattarai had lost both moral and constitutional grounds to remain as prime minister in view of the SC´s interim order against CA term extension. The NC has alleged that the prime minister through cabinet decision had committed a ´constitutional blunder´ by seeking CA´s term extension.
Speaking at the Reporters Club earlier in the day, General Secretary Sitaula said NC decided to quit the government as the Maoists failed to honor the five-point deal reached among major political forces on May 4. "We decided to join the government thinking that it would be easy to promulgate the new constitution if all parties are in the government. But there is no moral ground to stay in the government after the prime minister himself revoked the agreement,” he said.
NC CWC member Gagan Thapa said the party is firm in its stance that the new statute should be promulgated by May 27 in view of the SC verdict of November 25, 2011 that the current extension would be last one."Our CWC meeting held Wednesday itself had expressed serious objection and disagreement to the government´s plan to seek extension of the CA´s term. Today´s SC verdict has proved that we were right," he said.
Thapa said the CWC meeting Thursday also decided to appeal to all political parties to take necessary initiatives to bring a new statute by May 27 and "fulfill the historic responsibility".
Another CWC member Pushpa Bhusal said the meeting has decided that the NC should play pro-active role to help bring the new constitution within the remaining three days."The meeting also appealed to the people from all caste groups and ethnic and cultural backgrounds to uphold social harmony, ethnic goodwill and tolerance to help promulgate a constitution of federal democratic Nepal," she further said.
Bhusal said the meeting also decided to hold talks with various Madhes-based parties on federalism and also publicize the idea of five provinces in the Tarai-Madhes districts as proposed by 42 NC lawmakers hailing from the region.
Deuba faction boycotts CWC meeting
CWC members close to Sher Bahadur Deuba faction boycotted the CWC meeting held at the party´s headquarters in Sanepa, Thursday. The boycott came even as the party president Sushil Koirala assured the CWC members of adressing their concerns.
Deuba, however, said he would not attend the meeting until the issues of Nepal Students´ Union, Nepal Tarun Dal and Nepal Women´s Association were addressed.