Standing Committee meet call grows shriller

Kathmandu, April 27

Internal feud within the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has deepened lately, with Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leaders, including Madhav Kumar Nepal, pressuring Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to call a meeting of the Standing Committee. But the PM is trying to delay the meeting and has intensified efforts to win the confidence of Nepal, whose support can tip the balance in the PM’s favour.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has fallen into minority in the party’s key bodies — Secretariat, Standing Committee and Central Committee — due to Nepal’s tie-up with Dahal, held a meeting with Nepal in a bid to win his confidence.

Nepal’s support is considered crucial for both Oli and Dahal in the party’s power dynamics.

Following a one-on-one meeting between Oli and Nepal, leaders representing both the factions met at Nepal’s residence in Koteshwar. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokharel, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Nepal Communist Party General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and Chief Minister of Province 5 Shankar Pokharel of the faction headed by the PM held talks with senior NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal’s loyalists Raghu Ji Panta, Bhim Bahadur Rawal and Surendra Kumar Pandey at Nepal’s residence.

A ruling party leader who is close to Oli told THT that Oli had intensified talks with Nepal in a bid to win his confidence. “Oli has personally talked to Nepal and has also sent his loyalists to talk to him. Oli has held talks with both Nepal and Dahal, but more so with Nepal,” the source added.

The Oli faction intensified its efforts to win confidence of Nepal after a meeting of the Nepal faction held at Nepal’s residence yesterday decided that Oli had failed to run both the party and the government.

Nepal has been saying that the PM should adhere to one-person-one-post.

Meanwhile, Dahal met the party’s senior leader Jhalanath Khanal, at his Khumaltar residence. Khanal said they agreed to hold the party’s Secretariat meeting within a day or two. Khanal said one-third members of the Standing Committee had submitted a petition demanding a meeting of the Standing Committee as per the party’s statute and hence Oli, who is a co-chair of the party, had the obligation to call the meeting. Khanal said all the political issues, including the promulgation of two ordinances related to Constitutional Council Act and Political Party Act, and alleged abduction of Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal lawmaker Surendra Kumar Yadav would be discussed in the Standing Committee.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 28, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.