Oli, Dahal’s bid to save party unity continues

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KATHMANDU, JULY 5

Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held talks today but failed to end the current deadlock in the party.

NCP is deeply divided with the PM refusing to quit prime minister or party co-chair’s post, and the rival faction led by Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal adamant on forcing the PM to quit at least one post. The co-chairs will hold the next round of talks tomorrow ahead of the Standing Committee meeting.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the two co-chairs only talked about the president being dragged into controversy, while the other vexed issues were not discussed today. Shrestha was positive that the two sides would reconcile their differences.

Before meeting the PM, Dahal, along with two other senior leaders of the party Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, met President Bidhya Devi Bhandari in Sheetal Niwas to dispel the rumour that his faction was planning to move an impeachment motion against her, according to Dahal’s Personal Aide Jokh Bahadur Mahara.

Some Central Committee members of the ruling NCP have started collecting signatures of the party’s CC members to pressure party leaders to hold the Central Committee meeting soon. Central Committee member Thakur Gaire said they would collect signatures by tomorrow to pressure the party leadership to call the CC meeting and decide all the issues that were plaguing the party through the CC. “We want either the Standing Committee’s decision to be ratified by the CC or the CC to freshly debate all the issues and take a final call,” said Gaire.

As per the party statute, the party will have to call its CC meeting if 25 per cent members so demand.

Yesterday, Oli called his Cabinet colleagues and told them that a conspiracy was being hatched to remove him and the president and that he was ready to counter any such move. The PM also told his colleagues that eventually they might have to choose whether to be on his side or with his detractors, according to Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security Rameshwar Ray Yadav.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 6, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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