Ruling party co-chairs stick to their guns

Oli to remain PM till general election, co-chair till General Convention: NCP leader Gokul Baskota

Kathmandu, August 3

Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Sharma Oli held talks today in an attempt to break the current impasse in the party, but failed to reconcile their differences. The rival faction led by Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal has asked Oli to quit either as prime minister or party cochair.

Oli, however, is adamant on hanging on to both the posts.

Former minister of communications and information technology Gokul Prasad Baskota, who is a close confidant of Oli, told THT that both sides continued to stick to their guns. “The PM told me that he would return to his Balkot

residence from Baluwatar only after two-and-a-half years,” he said. Baskota said if the rival faction wanted to remove Oli from either of the two posts he held, then they should prove their majority in the relevant bodies.

He said if any leader of the party wanted to remove Oli from party co-chair they should wait till the next General Convention of the party. “The next General Convention may happen after three to four months and the leaders who think they have majority today may lose majority in the next three to four months, as there is no leader in the party who enjoys everybody’s support,” Baskota said.

He said if anybody wanted to remove Oli from the PM’s post, then they should wait till the next general election.

NCP Standing Committee member Asta Laxmi Shakya, who is close to Madhav Kumar Nepal, said Oli had created all the problems in the party by avoiding the Standing Committee meeting.

“He must attend the Standing Committee meeting and listen to other members’ views,” she said. She added that Oli was not following party rules.

“How can the PM continue to avoid Standing Committee meeting?” she wondered. Shakya said the PM antagonised Standing Committee members because he not only avoided them, but also hurled insults against them in public fora.

When Standing Committee members wanted the PM to resign from one post, he told a public gathering that the entire Indian state machinery was hatching a plot to unseat him.

His remarks infuriated leaders of the rival faction of the party who thought that the PM was portraying them as anti-national elements.

Shakya said Oli’s unilateral decision to postpone Standing Committee meeting undermined the party body. She said the next meeting of the Standing Committee should be convened as soon as possible.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 4, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.