KATHMANDU, July 19: Prime Minister K P Oli has proposed holding the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’s general convention by mid-December.
He made the proposal during a meeting of the party’s Secretariat on Saturday, PM Oli is under tremendous pressure from the rival factions led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal to step down from the post of both prime minister and party chairman.
The 'unity' convention of the ruling NCP has not taken place after the erstwhile CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) led by Dahal merged to form a new party - NCP ahead of the general elections in 2017.
Although a majority of the nine-member NCP Secretariat have supported Prime Minister's Oli's proposal, senior leaders Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal have expressed doubt over the possibility of holding the general convention by mid-December as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is set to severely affect the preparation for holding the convention.
NCP insiders said the new proposal could allow PM Oli to hold on to power as Chairman Dahal is positive about the prime minister's proposal. Senior leader Nepal, however, has grown suspicious of the 'hidden' deal between PM Oli and Chairman Dahal.
Shortly after the Standing Committee meeting on Saturday, both PM Oli and Chairman Dahal met the president in Shital Niwas to apprise her of the agreement reached at the Secretariat meeting. Many have described the meeting with the president as a 'witness' to the duo’s agreement as Dahal had earlier complained in public that PM Oli was not honoring the promises made in the past.
A meeting of the Standing Committee that was deferred repeatedly is scheduled for today. The meeting is also expected to hold discussions about the general convention and ways to resolve the deepening intra-party dispute.