Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is once again embroiled in intra-party feud. Differences among top leaders, including KP Sharma Oli, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, have surfaced, and it is likely to impact our political stability. Nepalis voted for stability and development. But the party’s infighting exposed personal ambitions above everything else. Recent political developments are deeply troubling for the country. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has not shied away from venting his frustration over the government’s inability to pass MCC, and resolve some outstanding issues within the party. Leaders like Jhalanath Khanal and Bhim Rawal have emerged to lead anti-MCC camp within NCP. NCP executive chairman Dahal’s position is unclear at this point. This has troubled PM Oli. Moreover, recent reports of constitution amendment efforts to accommodate Bam Dev Gautam have not received positive responses from the people. As of this writing, PM Oli has threatened to continue Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada as a member of the National Assembly, ending Gautam’s bid for the same. The prime minister seems to have realized that elevating Gautam, who lost election to the House of Representatives from Bardiya, to the member of upper house, is not a popular move.
Dahal seems impatient, and he wants to be the new guard at Singha Durbar at the earliest. But the current situation is not in his favor either. Madhav Nepal, Bam Dev Gautam and Jhalanath Khanal are the swing voters in the all-powerful nine-member party secretariat. Sensing his minority status within the secretariat, PM Oli is likely to take few political and other actions in order to bolster his standing. It will be interesting to see how that will play out both in the party and among the people.
Despite having a comfortable majority in the parliament, NCP’s internal disputes are likely to impact the overall performance of the government. The first two years of the Oli-led government failed to address people’s basic aspirations of development and corruption and scandal-free governance. People do not feel the change. PM can blame the media for our “failure to report good things”, but the state of our nation does not look optimistic. An average Nepali’s life is no better today than it was two years ago, when Oli came to power. The prime minister must focus on governing, and should seek help from NCP in making things happen. It is already late for this government to make people believe that it is doing things for the betterment of the people. We can only hope that PM Oli realizes that the way things are moving is not anywhere close to what people had expected from him before his second stint as the prime minister.