NCP dispute worsens as top leaders trade barbs

Published On: October 1, 2018 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 1: The intra-party disputes which surfaced in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal vented his ire against the poor performance of the government are likely to escalate further.

The remarks made by the close aides of Prime Minister KP Oli and those close to senior leader Nepal on social media platforms after Nepal's scathing criticism against the government indicate the likely face-off between the two factions in the coming days. Party insiders say senior leader Nepal is miffed at the party chairman and Prime Minister Oli as the crucial decision to form the party's provincial committees and pick their in-charges was taken when Nepal was in the African country of Ghana to attend the Pan Africa Conference on Anti-imperialism and Capitalism organized by the Socialist Party of Ghana.

Nepal faction is also dissatisfied after the Oli faction deliberately bypassed the Nepal faction leaders from nominations in the name of electing all women chairpersons in the parliamentary committees. Yogesh Bhattarai and Ghanshyam Bhusal, who are seen close to the Nepal faction, were strong contenders for the heads of parliamentary committees.

In the case of the nomination of Provincial Committee office bearers and their in-charges, chairmen duo Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal had taken the decision through the party's Secretariat Meeting against the previous understanding among top leaders to take the decision through a Standing Committee meeting.

Although Oli had reportedly promised to Nepal to wait until he returned home and accommodate as many leaders as possible from his faction, Chairman Oli faltered the promise. Dissatisfied Nepal, while making statements in parliament, vented his ire against the dismal performance of the government on various fronts. He had even questioned if the prime minister was really working to address the problems seen in the country.

While many lauded Nepal's criticism against the government, a section of leaders within the ruling NCP took this as something “unwarranted.” Nepal's move to call the party's Standing Committee meeting on the next day to discuss the dismal performance of the government further incited tension between the two factions. Leaders close to Nepal including senior leader Bam Dev Gautam had attended the meeting.

While Prime Minister Oli, in an interview to a new website in New York, criticized Nepal saying that he was there to bail the country out of problems, his chief adviser Bishnu Rimal wrote a tweet alleging that senior leader Nepal and his close aides were conspiring against the government in collusion with some foreigners. “The downfall of people starts right when they start taking suggestions from others to fail their own,” Rimal wrote.

Another NCP leader close to Nepal, Yogesh Bhattarai, hit Rimal back saying that those who are in power always tend to see conspiracy. “Those, who are on the top of power and the authority, see other's downfall. Poor, faulty lens!” he tweeted.

As the statements and remarks from the leaders close to Prime Minister Oli and senior leader Nepal pour in social media as well as other platforms, there are concerns within the NCP that this is likely to affect the pending issues of the party unification between the erstwhile CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center) and the functioning of the government.

A second-rung NCP leader said leader Nepal seems to have vented his ire after Prime Minister Oli started taking decisions unilaterally on various key issues. “As the differences between Oli and Nepal have widened lately, this is likely to affect the party as well as the overall functioning of the government. What is happening now is not good for the party and the country as a whole,” the leader, who did not want to be named, further said.

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