KATHMANDU, Feb 26: A section of leaders within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has intensified their meetings with the leaders of both factions of the party to keep the party unity intact.
The party’s Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam, who did not join any of the two rival camps after Prime Minister K P Oli dissolved the House of Representatives (HoR), has intensified his efforts to convince both Prime Minister Oli and rival faction leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal to save party unity.
Party insiders say a sizable number of leaders within the party have supported Gautam in his bid to keep party unity intact after the apex court overturned the controversial decision of Prime Minister Oli to dissolve parliament.
Vice-chairman Gautam on Thursday held a meeting with rival faction Chairman Pushpa Kama Dahal to discuss keeping the party’s unity intact. He asked Dahal to take initiatives to keep party unity intact, arguing that the faction that considers the Supreme Court’s decision a victory should take the lead to save party unity.
Gautam on Friday held a similar meeting with Prime Minister Oli at the latter’s office in Baluwatar. Gautam is learnt to have put forth a similar proposal before Oli.
It is immediately not clear what transpired between the two leaders. But leaders close to Prime Minister Oli say party unity is not immediately possible.
As such, the Oli-led faction on Friday held a gathering of NCP lawmakers close to it at Hotel Yak and Yeti to discuss their future strategy. Of the total 174 NCP lawmakers in the lower house of the federal parliament, the Dahal-Nepal faction commands the support of about 90 lawmakers, while the Oli-led faction has the support of a little over 80 lawmakers.
The gathering of lawmakers comes at a time when the Dahal-Nepal faction is preparing to oust Oli from the post of parliamentary party leader. Both sides have been lately trying to bring lawmakers supporting their rival factions to their side to foil the plan of the other faction.
The Dahal-Nepal faction had earlier registered a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister at the parliament secretariat with the signatures of 90 lawmakers. On Friday, Maya Gyawali, one of the lawmakers signing the vote of no-confidence, announced that she is no longer with the Dahal-Nepal faction.
The Dahal-Nepal faction has also stepped up a similar effort to bring lawmakers close to the Oli-led faction to their side to keep their majority in the parliamentary party committee intact.