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Analysis: What Next After NCP Row Is Mitigated?

“The Standing Committee meeting has decided that our party NCP will move ahead based on rules and systems. The party will not interfere in the day-to-day works of the government. However, pertaining to the highly important matters, the government will have to consult with the party,” said NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, after the meeting.
(Leaders including Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) held at the PM’s residence in Baluwatar on Friday. Kathmandu, 11 September, 2020. Photo courtesy: PM’s Private Secretariat)

N24 Staff Writer, KATHMANDU:- Now that the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has buried its hatchet by striking a deal between its two party chairmen, questions may arise as to what is in the store for the highly-ambitious party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, who earlier led an armed Maoist rebellion against the state (1996-2006).

As per the new deal approved by the NCP Standing Committee meeting on Friday, September 11, 2020, Prime Minister and party co-chair KP Sharma Oli will lead the government, while yet another party co-chair Prachanda will have the executive power to lead the NCP.

“The Standing Committee meeting has decided that our party NCP will move ahead based on rules and systems. The party will not interfere in the day-to-day works of the government. However, pertaining to the highly important matters, the government will have to consult with the party,” said NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, after the meeting.

“The party has also decided to endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) development project from the parliament after making some necessary changes by holding discussions inside the party as per an earlier study,” Shrestha said, adding that “NCP will also hold its general convention on April 7-12, 2021.”

Following an “all feel good” decisions of the Standing Committee, political analysts, however, still express skepticism as to how party co-chair Prachanda will proceed in the following days, or whether he continues to cooperate PM KP Sharma Oli.

“It appears that the NCP row is buried for now, but that may not be the case as yet,” said an analyst, who did not want to be named. “As a matter of fact, Prachanda is highly ambitious and one never knows when he breaches the agreement.”

Yet another important factor in deciding the future course of NCP could be the foreign policy front of Nepal. Since its earlier history, Nepal has been maintaining a balanced relations between north, south and the global powers. If Prachanda attempts to deviate from this natural course of foreign policy, that would be the day of resorting to the disputes again.

“Nepal needs to maintain a balanced relations with its immediate neighbors, India and China. Nepal also needs to maintain good relations with its historically friendly countries including the United States and Britain. Prachanda’s policies, so far, appear that he is not willing to respect this natural foreign policy dimension of Nepal. Prachanda’s policies are somehow more pro-China, which poses a terrible danger to Nepal’s foreign policy front” said the analyst.

“Prachanda vested more interest to the Chinese project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) compared to the Nepal-US project of MCC. MCC has no military component and is solely a development project. Despite this, Prachanda ran behind the hardcore communist propaganda and stood against the MCC, which was unfortunate,” he said.

As the NCP has struck a deal that apparently forges a balanced foreign policy of Nepal, it can be hoped that Prachanda is on a “course-correction mode” and is well aware of the sensitivity of the international dynamics of Nepal’s immediate and global neighbors.

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