Nepal | November 27, 2020

Oli-Dahal tug of war continues

Top leaders of Nepal Communist Party trying to find middle ground

Roshan S Nepal
Share Now:

Kathmandu, February 28

The tug of war between Nepal Communist Party (NCP) co-chairs KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal over who to nominate to the National Assembly that appeared to head towards rapprochement after last evening’s joint address by the top brass of the party is far from over.

The fresh dispute ensued after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli rejected a unanimous decision taken by the NCP Secretariat on Wednesday to nominate Bamdev Gautam to the Upper House after Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada’s two-year tenure as NA member ends on March 3.

The recommendation — proposed by Dahal and endorsed by Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Narayan Kaji Shrestha — didn’t go well with Oli, who has fallen in minority in the nine-member Secretariat. Only General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel are on Oli’s side. He suspected a ploy against him by his party’s top leaders in collusion with some businessmen.

Oli is of the view that businessmen unhappy with Khatiwada’s policies had influenced the Dahal camp to oust Khatiwada. But Oli has conveyed to leaders close to him, as well as some opposition leaders, that he will not allow Gautam to replace Khatiwada.

The Dahal camp, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength ever since their meeting at Gautam’s Bhaisepati residence in early January that culminated in Dahal’s favourite Agni Prasad Sapkota’s appointment as the speaker of the House of Representatives. It was that meeting that pressured Oli to back down from his stance to appoint Subas Chandra Nembang as the HoR leader and put him in minority in the Secretariat.

Subsequent Secretariat decisions, such as those related to Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Programme and resignation of Oli’s confidant Gokul Baskota as the minister of communications and information technology, also were against Oli’s wishes.

However, Oli has resolved not to give in to pressure from his fellow leaders this time. He has argued that recommending an NA member is the prime minister’s prerogative. Oli has reportedly told his party and opposition leaders that he will not hesitate to take harsh decisions if he is continued to be cornered.

Oli’s Adviser Rajan Bhattarai said at a programme today that the party could just advise the prime minister about NA nominations, but it was up to the prime minister and the president who to nominate.

As Oli seemed adamant, Dahal, Nepal and Khanal met this morning at Dahal’s Khumaltar residence to find a middle ground and amicably resolve the dispute, which insiders say has the potential to push the party to the brink of split.

According to insiders, the Khumaltar meeting concluded that Gautam could be nominated to the NA and Khatiwada could continue as the finance minister. As per the constitutional provision, the prime minister can appoint anybody as a minister, but the incumbent has to win membership of one of the two houses of Parliament within six months of appointment. “Therefore, Khatiwada can again be brought back to Parliament after six months,” said an NCP leader.

Dahal, who visited Chitwan right after Khumaltar meeting, also spoke in the same spirit. “The Secretariat unanimously decided to nominate Gautam to the NA. Therefore, the PM will respect the decision,” Dahal told mediapersons. “As far as Khatiwada is concerned, he can continue as finance minister for the next six months. It is up to the prime minister to re-appoint him.”

Madhav Kumar Nepal is also believed to have conveyed the same to the PM today. Oli, who is making a bid to win over Nepal, had invited the latter to Baluwatar after the Khumaltar meet.

READ ALSO:

 


A version of this article appears in print on February 29, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

KP Sharma Oli, Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Indian foreign secy stresses on close ties between India, Nepal

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who arrived here today on a two-day visit, held a bilateral meeting with his Nepali counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal. They reviewed several aspects of Nepal-India relations covering trade, transit, connectivity, infrastru Read More...

Ministry of Home Affairs

Banking channel mandatory for distribution of social security allowance

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 The Government of Nepal has made it mandatory for all 753 local levels to distribute social security allowance to beneficiaries through banking channel. A notice recently published by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Nepal Gazette said the provision was stipulated in Read More...

UN condemns girl’s rape, murder

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 The UN in Nepal has strongly condemned the rape and killing of a six-year-old girl in Bardibas which was reported in the media. “We urge the relevant authorities to urgently follow due process and ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable,” read a press stateme Read More...

Subway construction in Kalanki

Council of trade unions slams employers

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 The Council affiliated to the International Trade Union Federation has called for including workers of the informal and self-employed sectors in the social security scheme. In a joint statement, the three large trade unions of the country – General Federation of Trade Read More...

‘Nepal will graduate to developing country soon

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli stressed the need to advance the social security scheme with coordination, collaboration and cooperation among the three tiers of government. Addressing a programme organised by the Social Security Fund on the occasion of the Third Social Sec Read More...

Private sector’s role in reviving tourism stressed

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 The private sector needs to unite and work together for rehabilitation and revival of the tourism sector that has been hard-hit by COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers at an interaction organised by Nepal Tourism Board to promote tourism highlighted this. They further stressed th Read More...

Cultural sites to be rebuilt in two years

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai claimed all the earthquake-damaged cultural and religious heritages would be reconstructed within two years. Inaugurating the construction of Narayan Chatubyuha temple’s entrance gate on the premise Read More...

Nepse at new high, but analysts advise caution

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26 The Nepal Stock Exchange created a fresh record today, as the benchmark index advanced by 18.43 points to rest at an all-time high of 1,893.24 points. Prior to this, the all-time record of Nepse was 1,881.45 in 2018. While the Nepse index had surged as high as 1,926.92 poin Read More...