CPN (UML) decides to pull out of Maoists-led govt. in Nepal

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Kathmandu, May 3 (ANI): Nepal plunged into a deep political crisis on Sunday evening with Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the second largest coalition partner deciding to pull out of the Maoist-led government, in opposition to the latter's unilateral decision to sack Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal.

The decision to call back its ministers from the government and withdraw its support to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was reached at an emergency meet of the party's standing committee held after the cabinet decision to sack the army chief on Sunday afternoon, a Nepal News report stated.

Addressing media, CPN (UML) Party general secretary, Ishwor Pokharel, said that the party had decided to quit the government and withdraw its support to the Maoists for taking unilateral decisions one after the other violating the accord of taking decisions of national importance with a consensus.

"A time has come to forge a new alliance of all parties with a national consensus," Pokharel said.

UML has called an 'all-party' meeting following the standing committee meeting where the main opposition Nepali Congress and various fringe parties including Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party, RPP Nepal and CPN (Samyukta) are participating.

Earlier, Nepal's President, Ram Baran Yadav, is learnt to have expressed his 'serious disapproval' over the Maoist government's decision to sack Chief of Army Staff, General Rookmangud Katawal, saying that it was taken without following "due procedures".

Reports quoted sources at Shital Niwas (the President's Office) as saying that President Yadav is dissatisfied with the government decision as it was done without "political consensus".

President Yadav assured leaders of the Terai Madhesh Democratic Party (TMDP) this afternoon that he would decide his next move only after consulting all political parties and stakeholders.

TMDP termed the government decision as "undemocratic" and said it would oppose it both in parliament and in the streets.

Nepali Congress acting president Sushil Koirala and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba also met President Yadav and expressed their party's severe opposition to the sacking of General Katawal.

Earlier, Nepal's Chief of Army Staff, General Rookmangud Katawal, who was sacked by the Maoist government on Sunday morning, has reportedly refused to accept the cabinet letter on his sacking.

The government's chief secretary, Bhoj Raj Ghimire, handed over the sack letter to General Katawal soon after the cabinet decision, but he refused to accept it, describing the decision as unconstitutional. (ANI)

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