NCP Row Continues To Grow
Staff Writer, KATHMANDU:- The longstanding dispute of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) continued to spike up, as the pro-Chinese and pro-Indian faction of the party led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” opposed Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for supporting the US-Nepal Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) development project.
PM Oli, in a bid to convince Prachanda that the MCC project was for checking and balancing Chinese and Indian influence in Nepal, called a one-on-one meeting at his official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu on Saturday, July 11, 2020.
“The PM called the meeting to sort out differences and develop an understanding between the two leaders. Prachanda, instead, reacted aggressively and refused to come to an understanding,” said the sources.
“PM Oli made it clear that he is not going to resign as demanded by the party faction led by Prachanda. And that his efforts to forge an understanding will continue. If the party opponents continue to obstruct, PM Oli may go for a party reshuffle then,” added the sources.
The next meeting between the two leaders has not been decided yet, while the next round of the party’s Standing Committee meeting was postponed for one week until Friday, July 17, 2020.
Earlier, various groups of nationalist protesters staged demonstrations in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Jhapa, Chitwan and other parts of the country extending support to PM Oli.
They demonstrated with banners, which depicted a hashtag of “#SupportPMKPOli” and some rhythmic slogans, such as “we need to change the face of our country” and for that “we need our government” which could ensure “out future” and which is working for “national interest” above the “partisan interest.”
The protesters chanted slogans, such as “you cannot just topple the government” and “we support PM Oli, (because) we support our future”, among others.
Time and again, PM Oli has been urging Prachanda, Madhav Nepal and other party opponents to approve the US-Nepal MCC project and thereby, minimize the hegemony of China and India in Nepal.
PM Oli’s opponents rejected his stand and only grew a distance with the nationalist prime minister, who ignored party interests for the national interests and even did not hesitate to issue a new map incorporating Nepalese territories of Lipulekh, Limpiadhura and Kalapani, which are still occupied by India.
“PM Oli is already prepared to counter his party opponents. He has readied an ordinance through which he can reshuffle the CPN (UML) party, which was one of the two uniting parties of the current NCP,” the sources further said.
The second tier of NCP leaders also tried to convince the party leaders to forge an understanding. Last week, they met at the residence of NCP leader Ghanashyam Bhusal in Kathmandu and decided to press party leaders for a resolution.
“Some past agreements were reached among our party leaders including PM Oli and party co-chair Prachanda. We will continue to urge our leaders to try to find a solution based on those previous agreements,” leader Bhusal, who is also the Minister for Agriculture, was quoted as saying after the meeting.
The meeting was attended by Shankar Pokhrel, a Standing Committee member and Chief Minister of Province Number 5, along with other Standing Committee members including Surendra Pandey, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Janardan Sharma and Mani Thapa.
Government ministers including Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun and Forest Minister Shakti Basnet also attended the meeting along with PM Oli’s political adviser Bishnu Rimal.