The Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven political parties, has withdrawn support to the government of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in Nepal after the expiry of its seven-day ultimatum on Tuesday midnight.
The Morcha has been protesting against Nepal’s Constitution since 2015. It had threatened last week of withdrawing support if its demands were not addressed in seven days.
Ahead of the installation of the Prachanda led government in August 2016, the Morcha had extended support to the government while reaching a three-point agreement including amendment in the constitution to make it Madhes friendly, compensation to the victims who suffered in Madhesh uprising and others.
A formal decision to withdraw support will be taken by Morcha leaders later on Wednesday.
The Morcha has 36 seats in parliament, but despite the withdrawal of support, there is no immediate threat to the government.
Top leaders of the Morcha had called on Prachanda and handed over a five-point memorandum listing their demands, including the scrapping of plans to hold elections to local government bodies on May 14.
After Morcha’s ultimatum, PM Prachanda inducted the fourth largest party - Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) into the government to ensure the local polls slated for May 14 are held. The RPP has 24 seats. The Madhes based parties have already announced a boycott of the local polls.
The Morcha felt betrayed by the current establishment after PM Prachanda proposed to amend the Constitution only after local polls citing the shortcoming of required two-third votes.
Newly inducted deputy Prime Minister and chairman of RPP Kamal Thapa told reporters on Tuesday in Kathmandu that he joined the government after Prachanda assured that the Constitution would not be amended.
Thapa has warned that if the amendment process is put for voting in the House, his party will vote against it and pull out its ministers from Cabinet.