Rabi Lamichhane’s unshaken ambition for re- entry into the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister with the Home Ministry seems to threaten the current pilot equation and Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda)’s chair as Prime Minister.
Lamichhane, backed firmly by his party RSP and CPN-UML, especially its chief KP Oli firmly in his move, is believed to have set a deadline for today with a warning that PM prachanda’s failure to get him back into the cabinet may compel the RSP to withdraw support to the government that survives on the support of seven parties.
It was on Oli’s initiative that Lamichhane had been inducted in the cabinet with Deputy PM rank with home ministry on Dec 26 although his citizenship as well as his election to the House of Representatives were under investigation at the same ministry besides being subjudice.
Lamichhane, soon after the Supreme Court declared his election invalid resulting in crumbling of all positions he held, regained his citizenship, new passport both for travel and his return to previous position.
But PM’s firmness against returning him the Home portfolio, despite Oli’s approval, is being seen as an indicator that Lamichhane’s case may remain in the other way, and that there should be no hurry to get him back at least till the full verdict of the Supreme Court comes.
A senior Maoist leader said RSP perhaps may not act in haste and withdraw the support and it may have just been putting pressure tactics.
But from the UML side, instigating Lamichhane and putting pressure on the Prime Minister through him is a way of mobilizing support for its presidential candidate.
There are parallel negotiations taking place with Prachanda, who instead of being in collaboration with UML, wants to ensure that the president post does not go to UML since it already has the Speaker’s position in the House.
However, any drastic move by Lamichhane and his party will impact on the life of the current coalition and government which will have to seek a vote of confidence in the house.