RSP quits Nepal coalition

Independent party leaves government after its ministers spent 19 days in office

RSP Ministers (from left) Shishir Khanal, Dol Aryal and Toshima Karki submitting their resignations to Prime Minister Dahal on Sunday. Photo: RSS

All three ministers of the independent RSP submitted their resignation to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Baluwatar on Sunday.

Education, Science and Technology Minister Shishir Khanal, State Minister of Health Toshima Karki and Labour and Society Security Minister Dol Prasad Aryal resigned from their posts after a party meeting.

RSP leader and former tv anchor Rabi Lamichhane was earlier stripped of his Home Ministership after the Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that his Nepali citizenship was not valid.

Lamichhane had renounced his American citizenship, but was said not to have renewed his Nepali one.

But within four days Lamichhane had got his citizenship from the Kathmandu District Administration Office, and resumed chairmanship of the RSP. 

He then started lobbying to have his Home Minister post back. The UML and RPP had supported his demand, but Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who had taken over the Home Ministry portfolio, was against it.

In a meeting on Sunday morning, Dahal had offered Lamichhane another ministry, but Lamichhane refused and the RSP Central Committee decided to leave the coalition while still supporting the government.

In a jam-packed press conference Lamichhane delivered a long speech in which he defended his citizenship issue, and lashed out at Nepal's mainstream media for targeting him.

"The media accused us of conflict of interest, but I can expose the media's own conflict of interest and political agenda," he thundered, singling out by name Kantipur, and and their publishers and editors by name.

He threatened to surround the publications with his supporters if they continued to "transmit untruths".