Nepal condemns Oli in dissent note

Kathmandu, August 20

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal today submitted his seven-point note of dissent on decisions taken by Sunday’s central secretariat meeting, which, among others, demoted him in the party.

Nepal has been furious with the party leadership ever since he was relegated to fourth position in the party’s hierarchy, behind another senior party leader, Jhalanath Khanal. Earlier, Nepal used to rank third in the NCP’s sequence of authority.

Right after the decision to demote him was taken on Sunday Nepal had said he would register a note of dissent. He submitted the dissent note today to NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, according to Bishnu Rijal, an NCP central committee member and leader close to Nepal.

The party’s central secretariat was supposed to discuss the contents of Nepal’s note of dissent today. But the meeting has been postponed till tomorrow, said Rijal.

Nepal has heavily criticised Prime Minister and NCP Co-chair KP Sharma Oli in his dissent note. He, however, has not explicitly mentioned Oli’s name in the note. Instead, he has used words like “party head” and “government head” to implicitly rebuke Oli. He has not mentioned anything about NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the note.

Nepal has been criticising Oli for heading both the government and the party. He has clearly said the party should adopt ‘one person, one post’ principle. This means if Oli wants to lead the government, then he should step down as the party co-chair and vice-versa. Nepal has reiterated this stance in his dissent note.

The NCP has witnessed political infighting ever since it was formed in May 2018 following merger of two communist parties, CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre. Until a week ago, the disgruntled leader in the party was Bam Dev Gautam, who is now at ease as he has been appointed the head of the party’s Organisation Department and is slated to become NCP’s vice-chairperson.

Now it is Nepal who has been marginalised in the party. “Creation of various factions within the party has hit NCP’s unification process,” Nepal has written in his dissent note.

When two party co-chairs, PM Oli and Dahal, had made the merger announcement in May 2018, they had expressed commitment to wrap up the unification process within three months. But the process has not been completed till date.

“This delay has disappointed party members,” Nepal said. What is also frustrating, according to Nepal, is “the high-handedness of the party co-chair in appointment of heads and in-charges of various departments and wings of the party”.

Nepal has not minced words to say that heads and in-charges of provinces, departments and sister wings have been appointed arbitrarily. “This has left senior leaders behind while giving space to junior leaders and newcomers,” he has said in his dissent note.

He has particularly expressed dissatisfaction over appointment of heads of youth, student, women, labour, intellectual and professional wings of the party. “This decision taken on Sunday should be corrected,” he has said in the note of dissent.

He has also said that if the party had decided to elevate Jhalanath Khanal in party ranking because he was the most senior leader after Oli in the erstwhile CPN-UML, then Bhim Rawal, Astha Laxmi Shakya and Yubaraj Gyawali should also be appointed as NCP vice-chairpersons as they were vice-presidents in the CPN-UML.