Before trust vote, Prachanda sends envoy to court Delhi

The former PM and Sher Bahadur Deuba are two contenders for Nepal’s top post

Published - July 19, 2016 02:49 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Days before Nepal’s Parliament elects a new government, a prominent leader and confidant of chief contender, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, was in Delhi to canvass for support.

The July 15-17 visit of Matrika Yadav, member of the ‘Headquarters’, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), came days after a senior government official told the media that India was not interfering in Nepal’s political developments.

Meets interlocutors

Mr. Prachanda severed coalition ties with Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and will attempt to become Nepal’s next Prime Minister after the July 21 no-trust vote.

During his three-day visit, Mr. Yadav met with official interlocutors and several opposition leaders including Congress leader Karan Singh, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party leader Devi Prasad Tripathi.

“Mr. Yadav sought our support for Mr. Prachanda as there are some misperceptions about Mr. Prachanda in Delhi,” a source who participated in the discussions told The Hindu hinting at the perception that the Maoist leader is close to Beijing.

Mr. Prachanda and leader of the Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba are two contenders for the top post in Nepal who are likely to lead the next government if Mr. Oli’s government falls on July 21.

No confidence motion

Mr. Oli opted for the no confidence motion after Mr. Prachanda-led Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre) withdrew from the ruling coalition on July 12. The withdrawal was not surprising since Mr. Prachanda had been planning the move to withdraw since May 4 when he reached a tacit understanding with Mr. Deuba and triggered a political crisis which lasted a short while. The pact failed and Mr. Prachanda went back to support Mr. Oli’s government seeking a number of concessions for his party but he finally snapped ties over growing differences.

Mr. Prachanda will require a number of favourable factors for forming a government if Mr. Oli’s government goes on July 21. Senior leaders of Mr. Oli’s party, CPN-UML, advised him to leave without the no confidence motion but he chose to face Parliament.

Mr. Prachanda is the first Prime Minister of the post-monarchy republican democracy of Nepal and was sworn to power on August 18, 2008 and in a symbolic move attended the ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

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