Nepal | July 04, 2020

Prime minister, Nepal trade barbs

Jagdishor Panday
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Kathmandu, August 22

Prime Minister and Co-chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli and senior NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal traded barbs during yesterday’s central secretariat meeting, indicating widening of the rift between the two.

Former premier Nepal has been annoyed with PM Oli ever since he was relegated to fourth position in the party hierarchy, behind another senior party leader, Jhalanath Khanal. Nepal has since registered a seven-point note of dissent at the party’s central secretariat, condemning the move taken on Sunday.

Soon after registering the dissent note, Nepal had shared its contents with journalists. Apparently, PM Oli was not happy with this act. “It would have been better if you had shared your concerns in the meeting rather than with the media,” an NCP leader quoted Oli as telling Nepal as soon as today’s central secretariat meeting started. “I would like to request all central secretariat members to take decisions based on consensus.”

This is when Nepal became furious. “None of the decision so far has been taken on the basis of consensus. If the party wants to take decisions based on consensus then all the decisions made in the past need to be rectified,” Nepal said and accused the Oli-led government of not delivering as per people’s aspirations.

Today’s meeting was called several hours before Oli left for Singapore for a follow-up medical check-up. Most of those attending the nine-member central secretariat meeting said the meeting should be wrapped up by extending “wishes for the PM’s speedy recovery”. But as soon as this proposal was tabled, Nepal said he did not want to extend those wishes to Oli.

Oli then snapped at Nepal, saying, “I don’t need your wishes.” Thereafter both exchanged caustic remarks for some time, according to the NCP leader who attended today’s meeting.

When Oli and Nepal were trading barbs, NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel tried to play the role of mediator to “cool both of them down”.

Later, Nepal extended wishes for the PM’s quick recovery, but Oli shot back saying he did not need them.

The meeting concluded by giving authority to another party co-chair, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, to conduct central secretariat meetings and take decisions on behalf of the party during Oli’s absence. Earlier, both the co-chairs had to be present to carry out central secretariat meetings.

A version of this article appears in print on August 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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