Nepal | September 20, 2020

Ruling NCP forms six-member task force under General Secretary Bishnu Paudel

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KATHMANDU: Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today formed a six-member task force under General Secretary Bishnu Paudel to resolve the intra-party dispute.

NCP co-chairs, PM KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who had not spoken with each other for more than a week, decided to form the six-member strong task force to be headed by General Secretary Bishnu Paudel.

The decision was during a meeting held at PM’s residence in Baluwater this afternoon.

The new development comes two weeks after Oli unilaterally postponed the Standing Committee meeting on July 28.

Internal feud deepened in the party after the faction led by Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal asked Oli to quit as prime minister or party co-chair.

Oli, who has been avoiding the party’s Standing Committee meeting, has, however, refused to quit any of the two posts he holds. The Standing Committee meeting had to be postponed several times due to Oli’s reluctance to attend it.

The six-member task force has two loyalists of each of the three top leaders — Oli, Dahal and Nepal. The Oli faction is represented by Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel and party General Secretary Bishnu Prasad Paudel, who will coordinate the task force; Janardan Sharma and Pampha Bhusal are from Dahal faction, while Bhim Rawal and Surendra Pandey represent Nepal.

A member of the task force said the task force would dwell on the PM’s resignation before recommending ways to resolve the deadlock in the party.

Deputy parliamentary party leader of the NCP Subas Chandra Nembang, who is close to PM Oli, said talks between Dahal and Oli were focused on the proposal floated by party Vice-chair Bamdev Gautam.

On July 28, Gautam had mooted a six-point proposal to prevent a split in the party. He had stated that Oli should remain party co-chair till the unity convention and should not step down as PM till the next general election. He had also stated that Dahal should continue to have executive powers and the next General Convention should be held on the basis of consensus.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha told THT that the task force would prepare a roadmap for the resolution of disputes within the party within a day or two and the task force’s proposal would then be discussed in the Standing Committee meeting.

“I hope that the task force will prepare its proposal on the basis of consensus,” Shrestha said, adding that he hoped that the proposal would protect party unity, bring meaningful changes to break the status quo and prepare for the party’s General Convention.

“I don’t know if the two co-chairpersons have already reconciled their differences but Dahal told me that differences between the two remained,” Shrestha said.

Yubaraj Gyawali, who is close to Nepal, told THT that forming a task force to resolve the internal dispute was a positive step, but preparing the proposal on the basis of consensus could prove to be challenging as all the members of the task force were highly opinionated.

He said the task force proposal would be discussed in the Standing Committee and the party body would take the final call on it. “We will have to see whether or not the PM is ready to quit as party co-chair,” he said. Gyawali said any solution should satisfy Oli, Dahal and Nepal.

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