KATHMANDU, Aug 9: Lawmakers of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have started a signature campaign to ‘exert pressure’ on the party’s top leadership not to push the party toward a split.
A total of 63 lawmakers of the NCP have signed the document, urging the party leadership to work toward further strengthening the party. They have also suggested to the party leadership to further gear up preparations for holding the party’s unity general convention.
Organizing a press conference on Sunday, the lawmakers representing the federal parliament also urged the party leadership to focus on containing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The lawmakers involved in the signature campaign are deemed close to both Prime Minister KP Oli and Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Addressing the press conference, lawmaker Ram Kumari Jhakri said they are skeptical if a strong party will be handed over to the new generation of leaders as the top leadership have least cared about it. “The kind of activities our leaders are involved in now has made us skeptical whether they would hand us over a strong party or only the ashes of it,” she said. “Instead of quarrelling with each other, please move ahead toward handing over the party’s leadership to the new generation.”
The lawmakers involved in the signature campaign have argued that the disputes within the party should be resolved through meetings and discussions. “Leaders have started counting our heads to prevail over each other. We have tried to give a message to our leaders not to count our heads,” said lawmaker Krishna Prasad Dahal.
The lawmakers have vowed not to speak against any of the top leaders. They have also decided not to side with any of the top leaders either.
The lawmakers have also announced that they will not support any of the top leaders if they decide to split the party. The move by the NCP lawmakers comes in the wake of a growing rift between Prime Minister Oli and Chairman Dahal as the latter sought the resignation of Oli from the post of both prime minister and party chairman.
Although several rounds of negotiations between the two leaders have been held over the past few weeks, the intra-party disputes between Oli and Dahal, who is backed by senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal have shown no sign of receding. Most recently, leaders close to both Oli and Dahal have engaged in a war of words, leaving party leaders worried about the fate of the NCP.
Prime Minister Oli has already warned that he will split the party if he is forced out of power. Dahal and Nepal are on the backfoot as the party’s Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam announced to support Oli, breaking his alliance with the Dahal-Nepal camp.