KATHMANDU, July 1: Just a couple of days after Prime Minister KP Oli said that forces within Nepal and India were conspiring against him to oust him from power, senior leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have asked Oli to step down from the posts of both prime minister and the party’s chairman.
Addressing the Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday, the party’s other chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal, Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bam Dev Gautam demanded that Oli step down from power. At least 18 Standing Committee members sought his resignation during the meeting.
They said that Prime Minister Oli had lost the moral ground to assume leadership of the party and the government following his controversial remarks that forces within Nepal and India were conspiring to oust him from power. “You have lost the moral ground to lead the government and the party after your recent remarks. It is time for you to step down from power to pave the way for others,” a Standing Committee member quoted the senior leaders as telling the prime minister.
Earlier, Prime Minister Oli had argued that forces within Nepal and India were conspiring to unseat him from the post of prime minister in an apparent bid to take revenge against his resolute move to endorse a new political map that includes Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura encroached by India for decades.
Chairman Dahal raised the issue of Prime Minister Oli’s controversial remarks at the outset of the meeting on Tuesday. He also sought the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Oli, saying that he had lost the moral ground to stay in power after his controversial remarks.
Prime Minister Oli on his part explained various works that the government has accomplished over the past two years. He argued his opponents had focused only on finding faults with the government rather than appreciating its ‘good work’.
Prime Minister Oli held a meeting with President Bidya Devi Bhandari shortly before attending the Standing Committee meeting. Although the Prime Minister’s Press Advisor Surya Thapa said the meeting was a regular one, analysts have described Oli’s meeting with President Bhandari as meaningful as intra-party dispute within the ruling NCP has been at its peak lately.