Nepal | March 29, 2020

NCP leaders pressure Oli, Dahal to end dispute

Jagdishor Panday

Kathmandu, July 27

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders have started pressuring their Co-chairs Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal publicly after they failed to come up with the names of the head of the party’s departments, especially School (Training) Department, the department responsible for indoctrinating the party’s cadres.

Of the 32 departments of the party, 18 have been allocated to the former CPN-UML and 14 to the then CPN-Maoist Centre.

The leaders started pressuring the two co-chairs after the central secretariat meeting of July 25, which was supposed to name the department heads, was postponed without scheduling another meeting date.

Oli and Dahal cannot agree on the allocation of the Training Department because Oli has proposed his close aide Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel and Dahal has proposed Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

Standing Committee member Yogesh Bhattarai wrote on his facebook wall that the party had not completed the work division and even he didn’t know what role he would be assigned.

“I feel there are no big or small responsibilities in the party. The allocation of responsibility should be based on a person’s qualification, ability and interest. For me, the decision and criteria should be transparent. I request the co-chairs to hand me difficult work and test me,” he wrote.

Earlier this week, two other standing committee leaders Ghana Shyam Bhusal and Beduram Bhusal openly said they were also capable of leading the School Department.

They told the co-chairs to look beyond the selected few of the central secretariat.

Surya Thapa, the central committee member and close aide of Pokharel, questioned on his facebook, “Some people were taking departments of their choice and some were not allowed to choose, why?’ He said Pokharel should get the department he is asking for.

He also criticised senior leaders of the party, including former PMs Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, stating that those who led the departments 25 years ago should not take charge of the same departments again.

Dahal and the then Maoist faction leaders are against Pokharel’s appointment as Training Department head.

Pokharel openly advocates the ideology of the then CPN- UML — people’s multi-party democracy. This has infuriated the CPN-MC.

Devendra Paudel, a central committee member and close aide to Dahal, told THT that they didn’t harbour reservation against any leader, including Pokharel, but the party should follow the agreement reached in May 2018 at the time of the merger.

Political analyst Hari Roka told THT the party has not engaged in any ideological or political discussion. “If there’s no clear vision on the party’s ideological and political views, it’s useless to cry during allocation of the party’s departments,” he said.

However, he also said the party’s Training Department was crucial. “It teaches how the party functions and the party’s code of conduct. It also designs the school books of the party. It will be fine to hand over these types of departments to standing committee members too because 33 departments will not be led by a nine-member central secretariat committee,” he said.

He also alleged that the party was focused on the nearest and dearest persons of the big leaders.

“If you see the general secretaries — Bishnu Paudel and Ghana Shyam Bhusal — of the former UML, there is huge difference now. One became general secretary of the new party, whereas another is jobless in the party,” he added.

A version of this article appears in print on July 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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