Is NCP row in Karnali local or an offshoot of the tussle at the center ?

Published On: October 13, 2020 07:40 AM NPT By: Santosh Ghimire  | @journonepali

Leaders close to Dahal claim that PM Oli is behind the fresh turmoil emerging in NCP’s Karnali Provincial Committee

KATHMANDU, Oct 13: The ripples of the motion of no confidence filed against chief minister (CM) of  Karnali Province, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, by his own party’s lawmakers have reached the capital Kathmandu. Just a day after the motion was registered at NCP’s party parliamentary committee in Karnali, executive chairperson of the NCP Pushpa Kamal Dahal has taken initiatives to thwart the motion so that the chief minister could continue to stay at the top post of the province.

According to sources familiar with the development, executive chairperson Dahal held separate meetings with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and senior leader of the party Madhav Kumar Nepal on Monday apparently in a bid to save the post of CM Shahi by settling the row within the provincial committee of the NCP.

Dahal is against passing the motion saying that it is against the principle of the party's ongoing unification process at the central, provincial and local level.

“The executive chairperson has taken personal initiatives to stop the motion so that the chief minister could continue as the chief minister,” Haribol Gajurel, a leader close to Dahal, told Republica.

During his meeting with Oli, Dahal urged the former to instruct provincial leaders of the NCP to withdraw the motion tabled against CM Shahi. However, Oli remained non-committal toward Dahal’s proposal. 

Sources said that the intra-party dispute within the NCP’s provincial committee has come to surface also due to the personal tussle between CM Shahi, the leader from the then CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Dahal and Yamlal Kadel, a leader who has the strong backing of PM Oli.  Kadel was one of the aspirants for the post of chief minister when the country held provincial elections in 2017 and he was forced to give up his desire as the two communist parties forged their electoral alliance ahead of the elections, and agreed on the name of Shahi.

The Dahal faction of the ruling NCP has smelt a rat in the motion calling it a “unilateral move” secretly backed by Oli, the other chairman of the party. Leaders close to Dahal suspect that Kadel and a majority of the dissenting provincial lawmakers put forth the motion at the behest of PM Oli. CM Shahi is one of the confidants of executive chairperson Dahal.

“The dispute in the party’s Karnali provincial committee has not just emerged due to the personal tussle between Shahi and Kadel. We believe that the motion is against the spirit of the party’s ongoing unification process from the central to local level,” another leader close to Dahal told Republica.

Some leaders in the NCP believe that the intra-party rift in the NCP’s provincial committee could even lead to fresh disputes in the party’s central committee.

Earlier on Sunday, 18 provincial lawmakers of the NCP submitted the motion to the chief party whip of the NCP parliamentary party, Gulab Jung Shah, accusing CM Shahi of failing to deliver on his promises he had made during the elections. The lawmakers also blamed the provincial government for failing to bring people-oriented programs.

In their proposal as per Rule 24 (1) of the Parliamentary Party Statute 2075 BS, the dissenting lawmakers accused CM Shahi of not playing a role in the economic development of the province as expected.

Fifteen members of the provincial assembly from the then CPN-UML and three from the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Center) including former cabinet minister Yamlal Kadel and deputy speaker of the provincial assembly Pushpa Gharti Magar are among those registering the motion against Shahi.

Karnali Province Assembly has a total of 40 lawmakers. According to Article 188 (3) of the Constitution of Nepal, the chief minister can be dismissed through a majority vote.


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