Monday’s verdict on vacate petition turns counter-productive to UML in Karnali

Raghab Sharma

August 3, 2021


Monday’s verdict on vacate petition turns counter-productive to UML in Karnali

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court’s Monday verdict on the vacate writ petition filed by CPN-UML seeking the revocation of the apex court’s interim order of June 10 has turned counter-productive to the UML in Karnali Province.

The apex court on June 10 had invalidated UML dismissal of four lawmakers: Prakash Jwala, Nanda Singh Budha, Ammar Bahadur Thapa and Kurmaraj Shahi, who supported Karnali Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi by lending him a vote of confidence on April 16.

After Monday’s ruling, the UML’s action against the four lawmakers has been upheld, resulting in their dismissal.

More recently, the party was urging the four disgruntled lawmakers to return to the party so that the UML could form a majority government. This was in view of the UML commanding 20 seats, including the four floor-crossing lawmakers, in the Provincial Assembly.

Ironically, SC’s decision has foiled UML plan to form a majority government as four lawmakers have been dismissed confining the party to 16 seats in Karnali.

With four lawmakers dismissed from the post, the Karnali Provincial Assembly now has 35 members. Out of 35, UML has 16 MPs, including the Speaker. The ruling alliance has 18 MPs, including 12 from the CPN-Maoist Center and six from the Nepali Congress.

However, CM Shahi assured now-dismissed four UML lawmakers that they will remain in the cabinet despite their dismissal from the post of lawmaker.

Three of the four now-dismissed lawmakers are currently ministers in CM Shahi-led government.

As per the prevalent constitutional provisions, a person who is not an MP can be a minister only for six months. The ruling party plans to retain dismissed UML lawmakers as ministers accordingly.