Ruling NCP calls Secretariat meeting for Saturday as consensus between PM Oli and Dahal seems elusive

Published On: July 17, 2020 06:35 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The party’s Standing Committee meeting deferred till Sunday

KATHMANDU, July 17: The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has put off the Standing Committee meeting scheduled for 3 pm today after Prime Minister K P Oli and Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal failed to reach consensus during their meeting earlier in the day.

The ruling party has instead called the party’s Secretariat meeting for 3 pm Saturday. According to NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, the two leaders have agreed to call a Secretariat meeting on Saturday.

The Standing Committee meeting has been put off till Sunday as per the agreement reached between the two leaders. Although the leaders are close to consensus, there has not been any concrete agreement, according to General Secretary Paudel.

Prime Minister Oli and Dahal are expected to hold further discussion on Saturday and Sunday to bridge the differences they have on a number of issues. Sources said the leaders are working on a new power-sharing deal within the party.

Earlier last month, the party had reached the verge of split as the Dahal faction which commands a majority in all bodies of the party, sought the resignation of Prime Minister Oli from both the posts of prime minister and the party’s chairman. Prime Minister Oli then decided to prorogue the budget session of parliament and announced to split the party if he was forced to resign from any of the posts.

The failure of the three top leaders to reach any consensus has caused deferral of the party’s Standing Committee meeting time and again. The Standing Committee meetings scheduled earlier were also deferred repeatedly as there was no agreement between Prime Minister Oli and Chairman Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The intra-party dispute within the ruling NCP has shown no sign of abetting after rival factions led by Dahal and senior leader Nepal asked Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to step down from the post of the country’s top executive.

Sources close to the top NCP leaders said the intra-party dispute is likely to grow further as Prime Minister Oli rejected outright the demand of Dahal and Nepal during a meeting touted to be the ‘decisive’ one on Thursday to settle the intra-party row that has plagued the ruling NCP for the past few months. Prime Minister Oli has, according to the sources, threatened to split the party if he is forced to quit both the posts.

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