Nepal | August 12, 2020

Rift between Nepal’s ruling party chairpersons widening?

Dahal says no one in the party has monopoly over nationalism

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU, JULY 12

The latest utterances of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal seem to point towards widening rift with the other co-chair of the party, KP Sharma Oli.

Dahal today said no one in the ruling party had a monopoly over nationalism. He was, in fact, taking a jibe at Oli for taking the whole credit for redrawing Nepal’s map depicting Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as Nepal’s territories.

Addressing a programme in his home district of Chitwan today, Dahal said all party leaders collectively ensured Nepal’s map was updated and included in the national emblem and nobody should take credit as great nationalist and denounce others as anti-national agents.

“We all fought collectively against blockade. We all ensured passage of the new map. As Oli is the prime minister, he took the initiative to give validity to the new map because the party’s decision to revise the map was not enough,” added Dahal.

He said the party would remain united and those chanting slogans against leaders of their own party would later have to regret raising such slogans. Dahal’s remark was aimed at NCP supporters who had taken to the streets in support of Oli.

NCP faction led by Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal is miffed at leaders close to Oli for instigating their supporters to take out rallies in support of the PM, denouncing the rival faction’s leaders.

Dahal said there were elements who were trying to instigate him against Oli and vice versa.

“This is where party leaders and cadres needed to be vigilant. Party cadres need to guard against the tendency to create rift within the party, Dahal said without naming ‘the element’ trying to create a rift between him and Oli.

Oli had recently said that Indian state apparatus was hatching a plot to remove him from the PM’s post for his role in ensuring the passage of the constitution amendment bill that updated Nepal’s map and the national emblem. Oli had claimed that if his government was toppled, then the new government would not be able to raise voice in favour of the country. Political analysts believe that the PM was trying to portray the rival NCP faction in a bad light.

Oli’s remark was made when most members of the NCP Standing Committee had asked him to resign either as PM or party co-chair.

Some leaders, including former prime minister Jhalanath Khanal had asked Oli to quit both posts.

As the rift between Oli and the rival faction led by Dahal and Nepal was headed towards climax, the party postponed its Standing Committee meeting in a bid to effect reconciliation between the rival factions.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 13, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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