Reading out his resignation letter outside Parliament, Rawal said that Nepalis are disgusted by the “unbridled and immoral politics of the greedy, self-serving, vindictive, and conspiratorial political leadership at the highest levels”.
Many UML leaders like Rawal found themselves between a rock and a hard place after Deuba suddenly called for a House vote. On the one hand, they did not want to support Oli but on the other, voting for Deuba would have split the party in two.
Earlier on Sunday, a Standing Committee meeting of the UML had directed its MPs to cast their votes against Deuba, even as leaders of its breakaway Nepal faction reaffirmed their support and intention to vote for the Prime Minister.
Till the last moment, the UML task force was trying to patch up the ego-clash between Nepal and Oli that led to this political debacle. They even offered to appoint an alternative candidate for prime minister from among Bhim Rawal, Subhas Nembang or Bishnu Poudel to replace Oli. But Nepal shot down the idea.
Another UML MP Ram Kumari Jhankri was prepared to be evicted from the party to support Deuba in the House vote, saying “it is the duty of our party to support the government”. Twenty-three anti-Oli UML members had signed the writ petition at the Supreme Court demanding restoration of the House and Deuba being appointed PM.
Meanwhile, Pushpa Kamal Dahal in his address before the vote delivered a pointed criticism of President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s decision to disregard 149 signatories from the opposition alliance and their claim to form a Deuba-led government in May.
“We told the President that there were no ifs or buts when it comes to the Constitution,” Dahal said. “This was a mockery of democracy.”