|Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NCP co-chair|
|“I made a political statement”|
|Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli|
|“Language used in the statement not appropriate”|
Chitwan, February 7
Venezuela crisis has brought differences between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal to the fore.
A day after Oli termed Dahal’s comments on Venezuela and ‘American imperialism’ a ‘slip’, Dahal said both the statements issued by the government and the party secretariat were made in the same spirit, hence ‘an individual leader’s statement’ was not significant on the issue.
Oli told ‘Sidha kura pradhanmantri sanga’ programme on Nepal Television yesterday that Dahal should not have issued the statement while he was in Switzerland. “The language used in the statement was not appropriate,” Oli said, adding that the statement would not have been issued had he been in Nepal. The PM’s statement comes a day after US Ambassador Randy Berry met him in Baluwatar.
Dahal said he was not aware of the PM’s byte and added that he did not believe that Oli would make such a statement.
“I made a political statement that there should be no intervention in political affairs of an independent and sovereign country,” Dahal said.
An NCP central committee member said the differences between Oli and Dahal were mainly because they wanted to appease different forces and constituencies.
“Oli wants to appease the USA while Dahal wants to appease lower ranks of the erstwhile CPN-Maoist Centre whose cadres actively took part in the Maoist war,” the source said.
Another CC member of the party said the two leaders had major differences. “Dahal’s statement has created problems for the Oli government, forcing him to talk about the slip in Dahal’s statement,” the source said, adding that Dahal’s statement contained well-thought-out ideas.
“When somebody issues a public statement, then s/he chooses the words carefully,” the source added.
When Dahal was asked if the joint statement issued by ambassadors of the western countries, including the USA and the European countries, signalled any tension between Nepal and western countries, Dahal replied in the negative. “An independent, sovereign country and its leaders take positions on political issues. UN Charter allows that and all countries have used that right. It should not be blown out of proportion,” he said.
Dahal said it was not necessary for the USA and other countries to issue a statement on Nepal’s peace process when preparation to conclude the remaining work of the peace process was moving ahead continuously and consultations with the international community and neighbours were on. The statement was not appropriate even from a diplomatic point of view, as the PM and the foreign minister were out of the country at that time.
He said the ruling and opposition parties were one on the issue of peace process and efforts to amend transitional justice laws were on. “The statement shows unnecessary concern about Nepal’s internal affairs,” Dahal said in response to a journalist’s query.
A version of this article appears in print on February 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.