KATHMANDU, Nov 10: Executive chairperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Pushpa Kamal Dahal is currently holding a meeting with the other chairperson of the party and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at the latter’s official residence in Baluwatar.
The meeting comes right before a Secretariat meeting of the party called by Dahal at the party headquarters later this afternoon.
This is the second time the Dahal faction is holding Secretariat meeting in less than a week as the intraparty rift reaches its peak as the two rival factions — one led by Oli and the other led by Dahal — are at loggerheads over a host of issues including the controversy that surfaced in the party following the whirlwind visit of Samant Goel, the chief of Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), last month. The two leaders were also at odds over the appointment of ambassadors and new ministers in the Cabinet.
The Dahal faction has been insisting on holding a meeting of the party’s crucial Secretariat to discuss all contentious issues while Oli and Secretariat members close to him have been accusing the Dahal faction of harboring factionalism in the party.
As the intraparty crisis further deepened, Dahal organized an informal Secretariat meeting of the party last week for the first time at Dhumbarahi, the party headquarters, to exert pressure on Oli.
The informal Secretariat meeting called by Dahal was attended by Jhalanath Khanal, Bamdev Gautam, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Narayan Kaji Shrestha. Oli and Secretariat members close to him — Ram Bahadur Thapa, Ishwar Pokharel and Bishnu Poudel - also did not attend the meeting, giving a clear message that the party was on the verge of split.
The meeting urged Oli and Secretariat members close to him to agree on holding a formal meeting of the Secretariat so that all disputed issues could be discussed. However, Oli seems to be reluctant to hold the Secretariat meeting. Oli has accused Dahal and leaders close to him of making attempts to topple his government.
In a recent TV interview, Oli said that the informal Secretariat meeting held by Dahal was inappropriate. Although Dahal briefed the party leaders that Oli is making efforts to break the unified party, Oli told the TV interview that he was in favor of keeping the party intact. Chairperson Oli also blamed Dahal and other leaders close to Dahal for not cooperating with his government. “It is not the party which operates the government, it is the prime minister who does so,” Oli said while venting ire on the Dahal-led faction.