Kathmandu: Beleaguered Nepali Prime Minister K P Oli on Tuesday asked the Nepali Congress and Maoist leaders to withdraw the no-confidence motion brought against him, warning that it would fuel further "polarisation and confrontation" among major political parties.
Oli has refused to step down, despite the fact that the coalition government led by him is in minority after the Maoists withdrew their support to the coalition government last week.
In his first meeting with Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Prachanda since the Maoists withdrew their support to the government, Oli urged the two leaders to withdraw the no-confidence motion and expressed his readiness to find a solution through consensus and dialogue, according to sources close to the Prime Minister.
Oli is also said to have cautioned the two leaders that their insistence on pushing the no-confidence motion would "further fuel polarisation and confrontation among major parties".
But Prachanda and Deuba, in response, are learnt to have told Oli that he should pave the way for the formation of a new government by stepping down graciously.
Reiterating his position, Prime Minister Oli told the two leaders that there was no provision in the Constitution to elect a new prime minister even as the no-trust motion is passed.
Oli insisted that he would rather face the no-confidence motion as "there is no provision in the constitution to elect a new Prime Minister after his resignation".
Even if the no-confidence motion is endorsed by the House, the incumbent government will continue as a caretaker one, he said.
On budget, both Prachanda and Deuba told Oli that all the remaining bills of the budget "will be endorsed as soon as the prime minister tenders his resignation," according to party sources.
The government is yet to get parliamentary approval for its budget presented last month for the new fiscal year. Oli became prime minister last October, heading Nepal's eighth government in the past 10 years.
Cracks began to appear in the coalition two months ago when alliance partners threatened to topple Oli. He survived that attempt by drawing up an 11th-hour deal with Prachanda.
Nepali Congress and the Maoists tabled the no-trust motion in parliament last week against Prime Minister Oli, accusing him of not honouring his past commitments.
The motion was registered by Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre and CPN-United, whose combined strength is 292 seats in the 598-member Parliament.
The Madhesi parties' combined strength comes around 50 seats and their support will be crucial for passing the no-trust motion against the Oli government....