KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 9

Five members of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Secretariat who had given Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli till today to call the Secretariat meeting will devise a new strategy as the PM did not call the meeting. Indications are that they will call the meeting on their own.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said he and four other members of the Secretariat — NCP Cochair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, and Bamdev Gautam — had written a letter to the PM seeking his consent for calling the Secretariat meeting. But the PM has so far refused to call the Secretariat meeting anytime soon, saying a meeting will be called only when there are issues to discuss. The five leaders have accused the PM of acting unilaterally by defying the party’s Standing Committee’s decisions. The NCP faction led by Dahal has also accused Oli of inciting party lawmakers in Karnali Province to register a notrust motion against Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi.

Oli, who met Madhav Kumar Nepal yesterday, called NCP task force members today to discuss the present political scenario, but the meeting could not take place as two members of the task force — Janardan Sharma and Pampha Bhusal — had ‘a busy schedule’ and ruled out meeting the PM.

A few weeks ago, Oli and Dahal factions had reached a compromise after the task force suggested a middle path to resolve the factional feud in the party.

NCP Standing Committee member Yubaraj Gyawali, who is close to Nepal told THT that the PM would be compelled to call the Secretariat meeting and if he did not do that then the majority members would call the meeting to discuss current issues.

He said the PM’s talk of splitting the party was a pressure tactic, but it would not work. Five members of the nine-member Secretariat have told the PM in writing that if he didn’t call the meeting, they would call the Secretariat meeting, which in turn would call the Standing Committee or Central Committee meeting to dwell on current issues. Gyawali said the PM would have a tough time if the issues were discussed in the Standing Committee or the Central Committee.

The PM has fallen into minority in all bodies of the party.

Gyawali said most leaders in the party’s bodies were angry with the PM for defying party decisions. “We expected the PM to abide by the Standing Committee’s decisions, but he defied them the very next day,” he added. The Standing Committee had decided that the PM would have a free hand in handling day to day affairs of the government but he should abide by the party on major policy decisions and while making appointments to constitutional bodies.

Recently, the PM nominated ambassadors without consulting party leaders.

“Party leaders didn’t raise their voice against Oli hoping that he would serve their interests in some way or the other, but now they have realised that the PM only plays games,” he said.

Gyawali said a few weeks ago when the intra-party feud had climaxed, leaders formerly associated with the CPN-Maoist Centre were worried that the PM would split the party and agreed to bury the hatchet. “But leaders formerly associated with the CPN-UML were confident that the PM’s threat of splitting the party was merely a pressure tactic,”

Gyawali said. He said the PM offered Nepal the post of party chair when he went to meet him yesterday, but Nepal told him that the party’s chair would be decided by the party’s General Convention, not him.

Apparently, Oli’s ploy to engineer a split among NCP leaders opposed to him has backfired and the PM is likely to face the heat in days to come.

Apparently, Oli’s ploy to engineer a split among NCP leaders opposed to him has backfired and the PM is likely to face the heat in days to come