Oli faces wrath for putting off crucial meet

At a time when many have raised questions over government’s performance, the standing committee meeting is crucial — A senior Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader

Kathmandu, November 13

Leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have started venting anger against NCP Co-chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for continuously postponing the party’s standing committee meeting, where the government’s performance is scheduled to be evaluated.

The party statute clearly states that the standing committee meeting should be held every three months. But the meeting has not taken place since July 5. The meetings were called on five occasions since July 5 but were postponed every time.

“This is a violation of the party statute,” NCP standing committee member Beduram Bhusal said.

Some of the NCP leaders say Oli had not held the meeting because of his ill health. The PM was hospitalised for a week on October 29 and has not attended the office since. But others like Ghanshyam Bhusal, another standing committee member, say Oli is using his health condition as a pretext not to hold the meeting.

“We hope the meeting will be held by next week, otherwise pressure will mount on him,” Bhusal said. Many, according to Bhusal, are keenly awaiting the standing committee meeting as it is expected to take crucial decisions on party unification at the provincial and local levels, and evaluate the government’s performance.

“There is a positive correlation between the government’s performance and party’s strength,” a senior NCP leader said, asking not to be named. “At a time when many have raised questions over government’s performance, the standing committee meeting is crucial,” the leader said, adding, “We all wish for PM Oli’s good health, but we cannot wait any longer.”

Senior NCP leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, NCP secretariat member Bamdev Gautam and other standing committee members are also not happy with the frequent postponement of the meeting.

“These leaders are planning to formally exert pressure on the party leadership if the standing committee meeting is not held within a week,” an NCP secretariat member said. Many NCP leaders are planning to use the standing committee meeting as a platform to sort out differences related to party unification at the provincial and local levels. Earlier, leaders like Nepal had publicly criticised the party leadership for “arbitrarily” appointing the party’s provincial heads and officials. Also, the NCP, which was formed following merger between the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre, has not been able to publish its political document.

“The party’s central committee had endorsed the document, but it has not been published yet because of instructions from party leadership,” the leader said. “We want to discuss this issue during the standing committee meeting because without the document NCP members won’t be aware of the party’s ideology and ways to steer it in an organised way.”