Nepal’s ruling party heading for split

PM Oli and Prachanda’s talks failed to yield any result.

Kathmandu: Nepal’s ruling communist party has failed to address the intra-party rifts as Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and NCP executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ have failed to reach a consensus despite holding over half-a-dozen meetings in a week, a media report said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a crucial meeting of the NCP’s 45-member Standing Committee was postponed till Friday. The meeting was deferred for the fourth consecutive time in a bid to provide enough time for the two chairmen of the party to sort out their differences amidst the heightened intra-party rift.

The political future of 68-year-old Oil is expected to be decided on Friday during the Standing Committee meeting, amidst the growing involvement of Hou Yanqui, the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, to save his chair. The Prachanda faction, backed by senior leaders and former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, has been demanding Oli’s resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.”

The differences between the two factions of the Nepal Communist Party — one led by Oli and the other by ‘Prachanda’ on the issue of power-sharing — has recently intensified after the prime minister unilaterally decided to prorogue the budget session of Parliament and over to the government’s lacklustre response to the COVID-19 pandemic and his unilateral actions, bypassing the party.

Oli and Prachanda have held a series of meetings to iron out their differences, but both the factions appeared to have gone back to locking horns, The Kathmandu Post reported.