Nepal | August 09, 2020

PM advised to reach out to rival NCP faction

We can’t let things go awry in the name of party unity, says Dahal

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Kathmandu, July 1

A day after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was asked by Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Standing Committee members to resign from both the posts of prime minister and party co-chair, the PM was advised by his aides in the party to reach out to the rival faction.

Oli held a meeting with his key confidants, including Cabinet ministers, this morning asking them what course of action he should follow.

According to Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung, who was present in the meeting, leaders suggested that the PM reach out to party leaders in an attempt to win their confidence but without quitting as PM or party co-chair.

“Party unification process has not completed yet and if the PM quits the post of party co-chair, it will adversely impact the party unity process,” Gurung said, adding, “Party leaders should not seek resignation of the PM at a time when the PM has done exemplary work by forging national unity.” Gurung said some leaders suggested that the PM change his working style to win the confidence of all leaders in the party.

Deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang said the PM told leaders that the party was facing tough time and Standing Committee members close to him should defend him in the meeting. Nembang told the PM to reconcile his differences with party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal in order to end the standoff.

Of the 18 Standing Committee members who spoke in the Standing Committee meeting yesterday, 17 had demanded Oli’s resignation — some explicitly, some implicitly.

Standing Committee members, including Dahal, NCP Vicechair Bamdev Gautam and Jhalanath Khanal had sought the PM’s resignation yesterday. Leaders said the PM’s charge that India was plotting to unseat him from the top post undermined the prestige of the people and Parliament of Nepal that elected the prime minister.

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai advised the PM to take the criticisms with an open mind and accept his mistakes while correcting them in a bid to resolve differences within the party.

NCP General Secretary Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokharel, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock Development Ghanashyam Bhusal and Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel were also present in the meeting.

However, ministers Barshaman Pun, Shakti Basnet and Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, who are close to party Co-chair Dahal were not present in the meeting.

Dahal, meanwhile, held a separate meeting of his faction late in the evening. NCP Standing Committee member Haribol Gajurel said Dahal told party leaders that Oli was acting arbitrarily and the party needed to censure his arbitrary actions, while keeping the party united.

“While party unity is important for us. We cannot let things go awry in the name of party unity,” Gajurel quoted Dahal as telling party leaders.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 2, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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