India monitoring political situation in Nepal closely

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New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) India is closely monitoring the political situation in neighbouring Nepal following reports that the government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli was facing instability, a senior government official said on Thursday.

“As you know, these are internal political developments in Nepal,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.

“But of course, as a close neighbour, we are following the developments in Nepal very closely,” he said.

Reports on Wednesday suggested that the Oli government teetered precariously after key ally UCPN (Maoist) decided to withdraw support and form a national unity government under its leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, with the main opposition Nepali Congress and Madhesi parties agreeing to back its move.

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However, in a dramatic U-turn on Thursday, the UCPN (Maoist) decided not to withdraw support to the government “as of now”, according to a report from Kathmandu.

Though it is not known what exactly transpired and why the Maoists did a U-turn, it is being speculated that a secret agreement between Oli and Prachanda was the main reason behind the Maoists’ about-turn, the report said citing sources.

On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Oli sent two senior members of his Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) [CPN-UML] to Prachanda’s residence where they are understood to have given him the assurance that “PM Oli will meet all the grievances of the Maoists”, according to the report.

The Maoist party is among the key partners in the nearly seven-month-old Oli government and, due to the numbers factor, the government may easily collapse if it withdraws support.

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