30 of 44 members of NCP Standing Committee demand resignation of Sharma Oli

Party sources say there is a chance of the split in the party if Mr. Oli takes the division in the Standing Committee to Pparliament for a floor test   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Kathmandu’s ruling Nepali Communist Party is trying to resolve the internal problems within the parameters of the party’s tradition, said an influential member of its Central Committee. The crisis saw its peak on Wednesday with 30 of the 44 members of the Standing Committee demanding resignation of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli who is facing one of the toughest political crisis of his career within a fortnight after he steered the controversial Second Constitution Amendment which brought in a map incorporating Indian territories in Pithoragarh district.

“We have been trying to resolve problems based on our party constitution and power balance among the leaders,” said Bishnu Rijal, Central Committee member and Deputy Chief of Department of Foreign Affairs.

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The meeting of the Standing Committee, which began a week ago, is likely to go on for several more days till a solution is found. The core problem is with Mr. Oli occupying the post of the Chairman of the party and the Prime Minister. His opponents led by former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ began by demanding that he should give up the party’s top most post and run the government according to a new party set up. After escalation of the crisis, Mr. Prachanda has been demanding that Mr. Oli should step down from both the posts.

Angry response from Prachanda

Mr. Oli has made his moves according to the gravity of the challenge. On Sunday he had accused India of plotting his downfall. This triggered an angry response from Mr. Prachanda who demanded explanation for the remarks. The populist Prime Minister however refused to interact with his challengers initially.

However, after a week of discussion the faction led by Mr. Prachanda is in absolute majority with former PM Madhav Nepal playing an equally important role in mobilising the party against the PM. Matrika Yadav, Leelamani Pokhrel and veterans of the party were among those who sought the resignation of Mr. Oli on Wednesday saying his comments especially on India had gone against established practices of Nepalese diplomacy.

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However, there is no clarity if the Prime Minister will respond to the demands and give in to the growing pressure. The NCP sources said in case the marathon meeting of the Standing Committee fails to deliver, they will have to go to the Central Committee where Mr. Prachanda and Mr. Nepal are in a dominant position.

Mr. Oli is unlikely to give up easily. He indicated his ability by meeting close supporters in the official residence and ended the day with a routine health check up. The visit to the hospital, it is believed, was prompted after some colleagues had doubted his physical fitness. He was found to be in good health.

Chance of split in the party

Party sources say there is a chance of the split in the party if Mr. Oli takes the division in the Standing Committee to Pparliament for a floor test. In the tradition of the NCP, the Standing Committee and the Central Committee are more decisive in matters of determining the leadership affairs.

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Mr. Oli can challenge that if he takes the crisis to Parliament which extended unanimous support to him on the new Nepalese map a fortnight ago.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 3:19:45 PM |

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