Presenting an ambitious and populist budget, CPN-UML leader and Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli had felt a sigh of relief, expecting that his party would secure a better position in the proposed local elections and future national elections.
But two days after the budget, Maoist leader Prachanda reminded Prime Minister Oli of their 3-point gentlemen's agreement. In the presence of the top leaders of the two parties, Oli had agreed to resign and pave the way for Prachanda to form the government after the budget presentation.
In a high level meeting of his party, CPN-Maoist leader Prachanda urged his party colleagues to formulate a strategy to work following the formation of the new government under his leadership. He reportedly told his party leaders that his government will be a national consensus government.
Maoist leader Prachanda’s close advisor said that Prachanda reminded Prime Minister Oli about the commitment. However, Oli’s political advisor Bishnu Rimal made it clear that Prachanda has said nothing as such that appeared in the media. “The meeting was regular and the prime minister and the Maoist leader agreed to defend the budget jointly,” said Rimal.
At a time when CPN-UML’s two senior leaders Jhalnath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal conceded that there was a gentlemen's agreement to allow Prachanda to form an all-party government after the budget, prime minister Oli’s supporters are saying that no such agreement was reached in April.
“There is no such agreement for resignation by the prime minister. The agreement signed between the two has been made public. That is what we know,” said general secretary of CPN-UML Ishwor Pokharel.
“The process of forming the next government would begin after the Parliament passes the budget by July 15,” Prachanda told his party leaders. “There is no alternative to a national consensus government for implementing the constitution, speeding up reconstruction works and completing the remaining tasks of the peace process."
At a time when the government presented hugely populist budget, the public comments of Maoist leader Prachanda and two senior UML leaders have rocked the government.
Angered by the defiance of CPN-UML leaders to accommodate their concern in the budget, RPP Nepal leader and Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa reportedly met former prime minister Sher Bahdur Deuba for a possible new alliance against the communist led government.
With the presentation of budget, CPN-UML and Maoist Center leaders are coming closer to defend the budget. RPP-Nepal parliamentarians, however, have made it clear that their support to the new budget will be on the basis of issues. The heads of the both parties have also drawn a conclusion to implement the new budget estimates for fiscal year 2016/017 for it has brought cheers to the public and further enthused them.
Although the contradictory views are coming in the meeting of chiefs of the parties, UML Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a sense of instability of the government is pervasive among the people. Given the present political scenario, Prime Minister Oli has to fight a war on three fronts, with opposition Nepali Congress, Madheshis and coalition partners. In the process, political stability will be missing.