And a lawmaker says he received threats from the Indian diplomatic mission in Kathmandu. Embassy refutes the claim.
For the record: The fourth round of voting today in the parliament failed to elect a prime minister. Fifth round of voting is scheduled for Aug 18. Neither of the prime ministerial contenders—UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Nepali Congress (NC) Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Poudel—could muster the required votes (301 out of 601 for simple majority) in today’s elections. Dahal bagged 213 votes, which is 46 less than he received in the third round, while Poudel garnered 122, two less than he had in the previous round.
The news today is that those 11 Madhesi Janadhikar Forum lawmakers who had voted in favour of Dahal didn’t floor cross today. Like in the previous rounds the MJF remained neutral along with its allies from Madhesh. The CPN-UML, third largest party in the CA remained neutral too.
Indian Embassy in Kathmandu accused of threatening Nepali lawmaker
Lawmaker Raj Kumar Sharma, who deserted the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) to join the UCPN (Maoist), claimed today that he has been receiving death threats over the prime ministerial poll. Talking with reporters after participating in the fourth round of election to the post of prime minister at the Constituent Assembly (CA) hall today, Sharma said that he was put under extreme pressure and has been repeatedly receiving death threats from the Indian embassy.
“Counselor Das of the Indian embassy called me at 12 pm from mobile number 9851107005 and threatened to kill me, abduct me,” Sharma said. “The Indian ambassador, the counselor and others have told me, ‘you are from Madhes, you revolted and left the party which created this mess. So rethink your decision.’ Yesterday they had called to tell that diplomatically. But today they issued threats.”
Sharma said the embassy officials called him four times. One of the threats included expelling his daughter from Kendriya Vidyalaya, an Indian school in Kathmandu where the girl was recently been admitted.
“It is clear how serious the peace and security situation of the country has become when a lawmaker is issued death threats to stop him from using his personnel discretion,” said Sharma, “I am not the only one receiving threats, other lawmakers are also under pressure.”
Meanwhile, the Indian embassy has refuted Sharma’s claim. “We don’t want to dignify such baseless and irresponsible allegation by responding to it,” embassy spokesperson Apoorva Srivastava told eKantipur.