NCP’s internal disputes intensify as Standing Committee meeting is postponed

Published On: May 7, 2020 06:55 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 7: The Nepal Communist Party’s (NCP) intra-party dispute that seemingly came to an end has surfaced again after Prime Minister and the party's Chairman KP Sharma Oli expressed his unwillingness to convene a meeting of the party's Standing Committee. 

The Standing Committee which was earlier scheduled for Thursday has been put off until further notice after PM Oli left the Secretariat meeting halfway on Wednesday. Party insiders say rival factions were going to pressurize the prime minister to implement the 'one person, one position' principle, forcing Oli to either leave the post of the party's chairman or the premiership. 

PM Oli is in the minority in all the party committees after senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and the other Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal forged an alliance to oust him from power. Miffed with the failure of Oli to honor the promises made to him earlier, another senior leader within the party, Bam Dev Gautam, has also lately sided with the alliance of the rival factions.

Talking to media persons after the Secretariat meeting held at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Baluwatar, NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the date of the party's Standing Committee will be decided by the Chairmen duo Oli and Dahal. The Secretariat meeting scheduled to determine the agenda of the Standing Committee meeting set to be held on Thursday ended abruptly after PM Oli left the meeting halfway. 

During the Secretariat Committee meeting held on Saturday, Gautam had sided with PM Oli after the latter promised him to elect as a member of House of Representatives (HoR) and make him the next prime minister at an ‘appropriate time’. But as there was no concrete agreement to this effect, Gautam sent a message to Nepal and Dahal on Tuesday that he was still 'neutral' and could extend his support to the rival faction. 

As Gautam is crucial to both Nepal-Dahal and Oli factions to ensure majority in the nine-member Secretariat Committee, party insiders say both the sides will make efforts to bring Gautam on their side before the Standing Committee meeting. PM Oli is in favor of not convening the Standing Committee meeting, as the Nepal and Dahal alliance commands an overwhelming majority in the Committee and can easily put his position in jeopardy.

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