Vice-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bamdev Gautam has advised NCP General Secretary Bishnu Prasad Paudel to be impartial while deciding whether to call party bodies’ meetings.

Photo Courtesy: Rajan Kafle/PM's Private Secretariat

Speaking at the party’s Secretariat meeting yesterday, he said Paudel should not support those who were against calling such meetings. He was referring to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has been reluctant to call party Secretariat meetings.

Paudel, who belongs to the NCP faction led by Oli, had sided with Oli and didn’t call the Secretariat meeting though five members of the nine-member body had sought a meeting earlier this month.

Gautam said the argument that both chairpersons must agree before a meeting of any party body could be called was tantamount to preventing any debate in the party. As per the party statute, a meeting of any party committee must be called by the party general secretary even if one member of the committee seeks the meeting with valid reasons, he added.

“What do I say when wisdom is not exercised in such matters?” he wondered. Gautam said the party was facing a grave crisis due to delay in calling the Secretariat meeting.

He said the general secretary should not support arguments against convening a party body’s meeting.

Issuing a press statement after yesterday’s meeting, Gautam said, “Parties’ life is reflected in committee meetings. The day parties stop holding meetings, it is a beginning of their end.”

Recently, Gautam said at a public forum in Dang that he was not in favour of factionalism in the party. He, however, has been accused of switching sides in the party and has aligned with Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Narayan Kaji Shrestha in the party Secretariat.

He was among the five leaders who asked Oli to call party Secretariat meeting to discuss several issues.

The NCP faction led by Dahal has accused Oli of defying party rules and norms, making appointments in constitutional bodies and nominating ambassadors without consulting party leaders, and inciting party lawmakers to file a notrust motion against Karnali Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi.