Koshi Province Chief, Parsuram Khapung/File Photo
BIRATNAGAR: As the clock ticks towards the crucial 5 pm deadline, the Province Chief of Koshi Province, Parshuram Khapung, finds himself entangled in legal deliberations.
Two leaders — Indra Bahadur Angbo and Kedar Karki — have both staked their claims to the position of Chief Minister, igniting a heated political showdown.
In a strategic move, Angbo, the leader of the Maoist Parliamentary Party, backed by a coalition of 29 Nepali Congress MPs, 13 Maoists, 3 Unified Socialist members, and one from Janata Samajwadi Party, has submitted his claim.
However, this move has been met with dissent from the Shekhar Koirala faction of the Nepali Congress, which has aligned itself with the UML and thrown its weight behind Karki’s bid.
Notably, Karki has presented a seemingly formidable coalition, comprising 9 state assembly members of Nepali Congress and 39 UML members, culminating in a total of 48 supporters, including himself.
Adding a layer of complexity to the situation, eight Congress MPs have contested the legitimacy of Angbo’s support base, alleging that certain signatures were procured under false pretenses, and have instead affirmed their allegiance to Kedar Karki.
To secure the Chief Minister’s role, a minimum of 47 MPs is requisite, while the UML currently commands a count of 40 MPs, including the Deputy Speaker.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court has clarified that MPs possess the liberty to exercise independent judgment without any external influences when determining the government formation, as per Article 168 of the Constitution.
As the political drama unfolds, all eyes remain fixed on the office of the provincial chief, eagerly anticipating the decisive announcement, set to reverberate across the political landscape of Koshi province.