Nepali Congress extends support to Maoists for next government

Kathmandu: The CPN (Maoist Centre), which on Tuesday withdrew support to the K.P. Sharma Oli-led government, has been promised backing by the Nepali Congress -- the largest party in Nepal's Parliament -- to form a new government under Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', a party leader here said. The Nepali Congress move comes after the CPN(UML)-led government was reduced to minority following withdrawal of support by key alliance partner CPN (Maoist Centre). Speaking at a press conference here after severing the nine-month-old ties with the ruling CPN-UML, Maoist Centre leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara claimed that the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has, in a letter to the party, agreed to form a new government under Dahal's leadership. Mahara said this at a press conference organised at Singha Durbar -- the seat of the Nepali government -- to announce withdrawal of support by CPN (Maoist Centre) to the Oli government. "The two parties have agreed to form the first round of government under CPN (Maoist Centre), and the NC for the second round for implementation of the Constitution," said Mahara. Mahara said the agreement to form the next government will be made public by Wednesday. The CPN (Maoist Centre) leader, during the press meet, said Dahal and Oli held a meeting late on Monday night regarding formation of a Government of National Unity. However, the party decided to withdraw support to the incumbent government as Oli was not in favour of the proposed Government of National Unity, Mahara clarified. Mahara laid the blame for the withdrawal of support at the Prime Minister's door for opposing the notion of National Unity Government despite the CPN (Maoist Centre) having asked Oli to lead the consensus government.