Kathmandu, August 14
The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has once again postponed meeting of its secretariat, also known as the party’s high command, citing lack of preparations.
The meeting scheduled for this afternoon could not convene after a consultation between NCP Co-chairpersons KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, this morning, could not reach a conclusion on delegating responsibilities for central committee members and naming heads of departments, including the contentious School Department.
Of the 33 departments, former CPN-UML has got 18 departments and former CPN-Maoist Centre has bagged 14. Who leads the contentious School Department is still undecided as both sides have been staking their claim on the key department of the party. Ishwor Pokharel from the former UML and Narayan Kaji Shrestha from the former CPN-MC have claimed the position of chief of School Department.
Merger between the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre will be complete only when the unified NCP completes these tasks. Right after arriving in Kathmandu from his Singapore visit on Monday, MP Oli held meetings with top NCP leaders, including Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal on the matter, but the talks failed to make headway as top leaders wanted their close ones to be appointed department heads. NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel told THT that the co-chairs decided to defer the meeting until tomorrow following their consultations this morning as preparatory works were incomplete.
After the last secretariat meeting held on July 29 failed to name department heads, top leaders had stressed the need for more groundwork and the two co-chairs had asked Paudel to interact with the Standing Committee members on who should lead the departments. Paudel has already completed consultations with party leaders, and was supposed to present his report in today’s secretariat meeting.
NCP Secretariat Member Jhala Nath Khanal attributed lack of preparatory meetings between leaders for the postponement of today’s secretariat meeting. “Tomorrow’s meeting might come up with some results,” Khanal told THT. Party insiders say things were also yet to be sorted out within the former UML as Oli and Nepal compete for the appointment of department heads close to them. Beduram Bhusal and Ghanashyam Bhusal, who are close to Nepal, have also staked claim on the School Department.
A version of this article appears in print on August 15, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.