CPN-UML lawmakers from the Khanal-Nepal faction in Bagmati have stated that nobody has the rights to question them about who they voted for during the recent National Assembly by-election.

Chief Minister Dor Mani Paudel has sought explanation from 14 lawmakers including Ashta Laxmi Shakya and Rajendra Pandey after UML candidate Ram Bahadur Thapa lost the by-election  on May 20 to Khim Lal Devkota, who is close to UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and contested as joint candidate of opposition parties including Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center), despite ruling UML having clear majority in the provincial assembly and local bodies.

“It is the CM who had the most cordial relation with Devkota. CM himself made Devkota the vice-chairman of the provincial planning commission,” a lawmaker of the dissident faction quoted the faction’s lawmakers saying during the parliamentary party meeting of Bagmati in Kathmandu on Friday implying that CM Paudel himself may have voted for Devkota. “It is wrong to seek explanation about who one voted for in a secret ballot. The explanation sought on the basis of suspicion should be taken back.”

The lawmakers stated that the explanation should be withdrawn if the government wants their support for the upcoming provincial budget.

Chief whip of UML in the province Deepak Niraula, however, claimed that there was no official discussion about explanation during the meeting. “We have internal dispute in our party. We talked about moving forward by discussing on it officially and unofficially inside the party,” he said. “We talked about not letting the internal dispute affect the budget and the government’s policies and programs.”

Published Date: Friday, Jestha 14, 2078, 17:18:00

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