Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why MPRF leaders backed down

Why MPRF leaders backed down

KATHMANDU, May 18: Two stalwarts Madhesi People´s Rights Forum -- Upendra Yadav and Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta -- made a U-turn in their stance on formation of a new governing coalition on Sunday by supporting a UML-led coalition.

The bigwigs of the fourth largest party, which holds key to new government formation, backed down soon after Parliamentary Party leader Bijaya Gachchhadar supported Madhav Nepal as the new prime minister with signature of 32 out of the 53 members.

Their quick move came as an immediate measure to stop virtual split in the party, a member in the party said. "May be there is a conspiracy to buy time and take the issue in the central committee where Yadav-Gupta nexus holds significant majority."

With support from 32 members and assurance from four others, Gachchhadar challenged the party´s central committee´s decision made on Friday not to join the government led by anyone except the MPRF. He announced that the party would join the government under his leadership.

Gupta and Yadav sensed Gachchhadar´s intention to violate the party´s central committee decision and knew about his clear commitment made before NC President Girija Prasad Koirala to come up with signatures of more than 35 members.

Gupta then met with UML leaders twice -- Saturday evening and Sunday morning -- and assured them of his party´s support. He, however, called for a face-saving way. He called for a fresh commitment in writing from UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal to implement the February 2008 agreement signed by the government with then United Madhesi Democratic Front.

After Khanal sent a letter, vowing to implement the agreement as mentioned in a commitment paper signed jointly by Nepali Congress acting president Sushil Koirala and Khanal himself on May 12, Yadav and Gupta decided to support the UML-led coalition immediately.

Though Gachchhadar doesn´t have 40 percent members required for dividing the party in the Yadav-dominated central committee, he has support of majority lawmakers.

So party chairman Yadav and co-chairman Gupta decided to buy time and weaken Gachchhadar by taking up the issue in the central committee. When asked whether the party will initiate action against Gachchhadar for going against the party policy, Gupta said the issue will be taken up in the central committee.

"There is nobody above the central committee except the general convention," said Yadav.

Gupta said the party has not yet decided to join the government led by other parties. "It is a matter to be decided by the central committee, not an individual," said Gupta.

Published on 2009-05-18 02:00:01


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