KATHMANDU (Agencies) - Nepal plunged into turmoil with the Maoist-led Government and the Military locked in a major confrontation after Prime Minister Prachanda sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmanga Katawal on Sunday for allegedly defying government orders but the General refused to step down. CPN(UML), a key ruling coalition partner, also withdraw its support to the government in an immediate political fallout of Prachandas action which triggered protests from most political parties in the ruling coalition. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav also refused to accept Prachandas decision instead asking him to follow constitutional provisions and seek consensus of other political parties before taking a decision on the 61-year-old Army Chief. The sacking - three years after the end of the Himalayan nations civil war - is the latest episode in a worsening power struggle between the leftist former rebels and their one-time enemies in the army. Information Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara told reporters that a cabinet meeting had removed General Rookmangud Katawal from his post as his clarification for defying the government orders was not satisfactory. Last month, Prime Minister Prachanda had asked Katawal to explain why government orders to stop army recruitment and to fire of eight senior army generals had been ignored. The dispute between the army and the ruling Maoists centres around Maoist demands that their former rebel fighters, who are currently confined to UN-supervised camps, be fully integrated into the regular army. The army has refused to take in the 19,000 hardened guerrillas whom it views as politically indoctrinated. In an indication that the government intends to impose its will on the military, Mahara said Katawal had been sacked to maintain civilian supremacy in Nepal. Lt-Gen Kul Bahadur Khadka, the number two in the army and a confidant of Prachanda, was immediately named as acting Army Chief to replace Gen Katawal, who was to retire after three months. But Nepalese television stations reported Gen Katawal had refused to stand down, and a military official told AFP that army generals had met to decide their next move. The sacking provoked rival demonstrations in the capital Kathmandu, with Opposition protesters and Maoist supporters rallying on the streets despite a heavy police presence. Katawals dismissal also triggered rapid political repercussions, with the Maoists main ally pulling out of the ruling coalition. We have called back our ministers and withdrawn our support after the unilateral decision to sack the army chief, Amrit Bohara, senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), told AFP. The Maoists took the step despite our disapproval. They breached the politics of consensus, and their behaviour has endangered the peace process. The Opposition Nepali Congress party described the Army Chiefs sacking as undemocratic and autocratic and an attempt by the Maoists to impose Deputy army General Kul Bahadur Khadka was appointed as the new Army Chief as a temporary measure, the govt said.