Almost three months after Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stripped CPN (Maoist Centre) ministers of their responsibilities protesting the party’s electoral alliance with the CPN-UML, the third largest party has decided to quit the government.
According to a decision announced on Thursday, the party will notify PM Deuba about recalling of the ministers without portfolio on Friday.
“Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will submit the party’s decision to call back the ministers on Friday,” said Manahari Timilsena, Dahal’s press coordinator.
Maoist ministers said it was time for the government to clear the way for a new one. Their resignation would create pressure on the prime minister to resign in the context of the left alliance getting a fresh mandate, said Minister Asha Koirala.
The decision came also after some ministers elected to provincial assemblies pressed the Maoist party to quit the government so that they could make preparations for joining a provincial government.
Maoist minister Mahendra Shahi has been vying for the chief minister’s post in Province 6 while Koirala has been elected a member of the Provincial 4 Assembly.
Prime Minister Deuba on October 17 stripped 16 ministers, including seven state ministers, from the Maoist Centre of their responsibilities as the party refused to quit the government even after siding with the opposition UML before the polls.
Minister Koirala added that the fresh move was prompted also by the National Assembly elections scheduled for February 8.
The Maoist Centre faced a lot of criticism from different quarters for sticking to power and enjoying ministerial perks even as their work was not required. The party had reasoned that their presence in the government was essential to ensure that all the elections are held on time.