Oli on back foot in NCP

Kathmandu, July 4

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has become defensive in his own party due to his decisions and public statements just five months into prime ministership.

Leaders criticising Oli outnumber those in his defence, with leaders coming from the erstwhile CPN-UML being more vocal than those from the dissolved CPN-Maoist Centre.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal, leaders Bhim Rawal, Asta Laxmi Shakya, Yogesh Bhattarai, Ghanashyam Bhusal and provincial Chief Ministers Prithivi Subba Gurung and Shankar Pokharel don’t mince words while criticising Oli, according to party sources.

Even senior NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal is said to have been dissatisfied with Oli’s activities, but has kept mum so far.

Nepal had recently expressed his reservations over the selection of invitee members of the NCP standing committee at a meeting of the party’s foreign affairs department.

Some leaders from erstwhile CPN-MC are also miffed at the PM, but are less vocal about their misgivings against Oli.

The two parties, which formally merged on May 17, have yet to conclude merger of their sister organisations, subordinate committees and departments.

The disgruntled leaders had been aggressive during a standing committee meeting held before Oli’s departure to China, and the same is expected in tomorrow’s meeting. Today’s meeting of the NCP secretariat dwelt on tackling any such aggressive moves by party leaders.

A few standing committee members and NCP lawmakers told THT that the party’s popularity had eroded due to ‘poor budget’ and the government’s dismal performance, according to a leader.

Issues to be raised in tomorrow’s meeting by the disgruntled leaders include sky-rocketing prices, opposition’s aggressiveness, centralisation of power, poor government performance, ignoring public issues, designating prohibited areas, appointment of deputy prime ministers, budget giving less priority to provinces and local governments, ministers centralising budget in their own constituencies, not following the agreement that party meeting should be chaired by Oli and Dahal turn-by-turn, turning deaf ear to Dr Govinda KC’s hunger strike, and withdrawal of medical education bill.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting finalised by today’s secretariat meeting included review of the PM’s China visit, contemporary politics, unification process, finalisation of the regulation of the party statute, and government performance.