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Nepal politics: Oli, Prachanda hold fresh talks amidst ruling communist party crisis

Oli and Prachanda, who have held over half-a-dozen one-on-one meetings in recent days, are nowhere close to a power-sharing deal.

July 14, 2020 03:37 pm | Updated 03:37 pm IST - Kathmandu

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and co-chair of the ruling communist party Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda on Tuesday resumed talks after a six-day hiatus in a bid to save the party from a split in the wake of growing differences between the two factions led by them.

Mr. Prachanda’s press advisor said that the two chairs (of the Nepal Communist Party) have resumed discussions, The Kathmandu Post reported.

They last time held one-on-one talks on Wednesday.

The talks are taking place ahead of the crucial Standing Committee meeting on Friday which is expected to determine the political future of the 68-year-old Prime Minister who has previously alleged that his detractors were trying to remove him with India’s help.

The key meeting is taking place days after NCP executive chairman Prachanda said he will not allow the party to split and any attempt from anywhere to weaken its unity would hurt the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.

Mr. Prachanda, addressing the NCP members in his hometown Chitwan on Sunday, said he was determined to keep the party unity intact as it is natural to have differences of opinion, dispute and debate in a big party.

Top party leaders, including ‘Prachanda’, have been demanding Prime Minister Oli’s resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.”

The differences grew further after Mr. Oli said that some of the ruling party leaders are aligning with the southern neighbour to remove him from power after his government issued a new political map incorporating three Indian territories.

Mr. Oli and Mr. Prachanda, who have held over half-a-dozen one-on-one meetings in recent days, are nowhere close to a power-sharing deal.

On Friday, the meeting of the NCP’s 45-member powerful Standing Committee to decide Oli’s political future was postponed for a fourth time at the last moment, citing floods and landslides which have killed at least 22 people.

Under mounting pressure to resign, Prime Minister Oli has downplayed the intra-party rift and said such disputes are “regular phenomena” that can be resolved through dialogue.

The differences between the two factions of the NCP, one led by Mr. Oli and the other led by Mr. Prachanda on the issue of power-sharing, intensified after the prime minister unilaterally decided to prorogue the budget session of Parliament.

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