Oli truant, Dahal defiant


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who co-chairs the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) along with Pushpa Kamal Dahal, did not attend the Standing Committee meeting today and sent a letter saying Dahal’s 19-page document of false allegations against him could not be discussed in the committee. Dahal, however, chaired today’s meeting that decided to hold the next meeting of the Standing Committee on December 13 and that of the Central Committee on December 20.

In his letter to the Standing Committee that was read out by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel, the PM demanded that Dahal withdraw his 19-page document without any condition to defuse tension in the party.

Oli said he had always taken part in the Standing Committee meeting when the agenda was prepared after consulting him.

Had his consent been taken he would have attended the meeting, but Dahal’s proposal has brought the party to a brink of split, the PM said in the letter.

Dahal, however, told the meeting that an individual leader might join or leave the party, but the party would not split.

Oli added the unity document had established a special rule to run party affairs on the basis of consensus, but the rival faction had changed that basic rule.

“This is not only morally wrong, but also divisive.” He said all party committees should run their affairs on the basis of consensus, not majority, till the General Convention of the party.

He stated that Dahal had turned the party’s policy debate into ‘antagonistic contradictions demolishing all norms of civil debate’.

He said he had told the Secretariat meeting that completing the remaining work of party unity, holding General Convention, and tackling COVID-19 should be the agenda.

Oli claimed that the current crisis had stemmed from the self-interest of leaders who could neither wait for the General Convention nor the next general election.

Standing Committee member Yubaraj Gyawali told THT that members of the Oli faction in the Standing Committee also attended the meeting that Oli boycotted, indicating that even those close to the PM didn’t back his wrong stance.

He said Dahal had registered the 19-page proposal with the consent of other Secretariat members after Oli did not honour the Standing Committee’s September 11 decision. After several rounds of negotiations, the Standing Committee had on September 11 endorsed a 15-point decision drafted by a six-member task force that was formed to resolve the long-standing dispute between the two factions. It required the PM to abide by the party’s decisions.