KATHMANDU, May 20: With the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) electing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli as its parliamentary party (PP) leader on Saturday, a curiosity has arisen as to who the deputy PP leader of the party will be.
The first meeting of the NCP parliamentary party failed to pick the deputy PP leader as leaders from the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) are eyeing the post. According to the senior leaders of the unified party, deputy parliamentary party leader, PP leader of the National Assembly, chief whip and whip of the lower house will be finalized next week.
Leaders from former UML party have been insisting that former Speaker and deputy leader of the then UML, Subas Nembang should be nominated as the deputy PP leader of the NCP. While, interlocutors from former Maoist side claimed that deputy leader of the party should be from the previous Maoist party to maintain the power balance, as Oli from the UML has already been elected the PP leader.
“We don't have any other leader more experienced than Nembang to lead the largest force in parliament as deputy PP leader should have knowledge of parliamentary and administrative process and capacity of adjusting all lawmakers,” said a former UML leader requesting not to be named.
With PP leader Oli heading the government, deputy leader of the party will lead 174 lawmakers of the largest communist party in the lower house. UML leaders have proposed Dinanath Sharma of the the erstwhile Maoist Center as the PP leader of the National Assembly. Parshu Meghi Gurung was the PP leader of UML in the upper house.
Chief whip of former Maoist party Dev Gurung has been staking claim to the post of deputy PP leader of the unified party, but other leaders have proposed him for the chief whip of the unified party. “We have not discussed any candidate to be appointed as the deputy PP leader so far. It is up to the leaders to decide the suitable candidate for the post,” Gurung said.
Oli was elected as the PP leader of the NCP on the proposal of Gurung in the parliamentary party meeting of the party on Saturday.
While addressing the parliamentary party meeting after his election, Oli urged the party's lawmakers to work for the prosperity of the country. “We have to transform this state to a heavenly state in a decade through our efforts,” he added.
Oli also said that he is scheduled to visit China in a month. According to NCP leader Gokarna Bista, Oli also said that he has talked to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to close down the Biratnagar-based field office of Indian embassy during the latter's Nepal visit last week.