Dahal takes potshot at fellow Co-chair Oli


Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal took a potshot at fellow Co-chair of the party and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for delaying the debate in the party, particularly in the Standing Committee.

Addressing a public programme here today, Dahal said he was fully aware that deliberations on several issues related to the party should not be halted in the name of party unity. Dahal’s remarks were aimed at PM Oli, who has been avoiding the Standing Committee meeting in recent weeks.

We have fought against the tendency to entice leaders with assurances of party positions in order to disrupt unity between communist forces.

We are careful about not doing anything that could create instability, but the ongoing debate within the party is not aimed at gaining party positions, Dahal said.

Stating that a communist party should run its activities as per the party rules, Dahal said they were facing challenge in upholding the rule of law within the party and ensuring that everybody followed party rules. These remarks were also aimed at PM Oli because Dahal and other leaders close to him have alleged that PM Oli has been taking unilateral decisions ignoring party rules and decisions.

Dahal also said that the debate within the party would further cement party unity.

“We all should work together to defeat any attempt to split the party,” Dahal added.

The last time PM Oli unilaterally postponed the Standing Committee meeting, he incurred the wrath of the rival faction led by Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, who said that the PM had violated the party statute and established rules by unilaterally calling off the Standing Committee meeting on July 28.

Dahal and Oli, who used to hold dialogue almost everyday before July 28, have not held any meeting since then.

NCP Standing Committee member Mani Thapa, who was once close to Dahal, has switched side. He said PM Oli had clearly stated that he would not quit any post just because the Standing Committee or Central Committee wanted him to, but if he had to quit the party post, then the next general convention would have to be held to elect a new leadership.

Thapa said Dahal had forged an alliance with Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal and that’s why he was not able to take independent decisions to ease the impasse. “I personally believe that only the party’s General Convention can ease the current deadlock in the party, he added.

Dahal’s personal aide Bishnu Sapkota said both Dahal and Oli had been sticking to their guns.

Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader of the ruling NCP Suabas Chandra Nembang said if Oli and Dahal, who were signatories to the unity deal, agreed to any deal, then that would be a different story.

Otherwise, party leaders should not seek to remove Oli either as the party co-chair or prime minister. “It’s the party’s General Convention that elects a new leadership, so if anybody wants to be the party’s new chairperson, then that person should wait till the next GC,” Nembang said and added that seeking to remove Oli from the prime minister’s position would be against the spirit of the constitution that had incorporated safeguards against political instability.

NCP leader Nepal has warned both co-chairs that party affairs should be decided collectively by party leaders and not just by the two cochairs.

He said PM Oli and Dahal were likely to hold a dialogue tomorrow morning.

Standing Committee member Devendra Paudel said that while agreement between the two co-chairs would be crucial to end the current impasse in the party, the consent of other senior leaders of the party and the collective ownership of members of the Standing Committee would also be necessary to end the deadlock.

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