POLITICS: Shaky Prime Minister

With no immediate signs of the internal feud within ruling party being resolved, the country will suffer further due to the division

Aug. 21, 2020, 11:27 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 14 No. 03, August 21, 2020 ( Bhadra 05, 2077) Publisher: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Will Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli agree to resign either as the chairperson or prime minister? Given the current mood, there are no such chances. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Ishwor Pokharel, in his recent interview to The Rising Nepal, rejected the demand outright.

“What chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and some other senior leaders are doing is very disgraceful. If there are intra-party disputes, then they can be resolved internally through dialogue. If there has been some shortcoming then they should be corrected. But it is very depressing to see how some senior party leaders have been publicly attacking the government and the Prime Minister. This is not good for the party unity and the movements led by the party, Nepali society and the whole nation,” said Pokharel.

DPM Pokhrel has indicated the stand of Prime Minister Oli. Although Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal held talks on August 13 at Prime Minister’s residence Baluwatar, no one budged from his stand to end the stalemate.

“If the government has some shortcoming then it should have been asked to correct it. But they are demanding that PM Oli should resign from both posts. Those who are now asking the PMs’s resignation have no moral ground to make such a demand. The demand is morally, legally and politically shameful,” said Pokharel.

No matter how cordial and positive talks both the leaders held, core disputes among the two factions are yet to be resolved. With no sign of any compromise from Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli in power sharing, co-chair Prachanda can do a little.

At a time when various factions within the party are making efforts to find a compromise, Chief Minister of province 5 Shankar Prasad Pokharel and Former Minister Janardan Sharma accompanied the leaders in the talks.

PM Oli and Dahal have held numerous rounds of meetings to sort out the differences between the warring factions in the ruling party, albeit not reaching a consensus, yet.

Dahal, along with other senior leaders, has repeatedly asked Oli to quit either of the two posts that he holds – prime minister or party chair. PM Oli, on the other hand, has been refusing to agree to the dissenting faction’s demands.

As long as Prime Minister Oli and Co-chair Prachanda continue to stand on their demand, it is unlikely to end the current political deadlock.

Agreeing for talks is a significant step in the context of long deadlock. However, they are yet to come to an agreement. For PM Oli, it is not easy to agree on the demand of his rival to quit from one position. Similarly, Prachanda does not go beyond the present offer.

Party general secretary Bishnu Poudel said that the meeting between the two chairmen ended positively, and the meeting would continue. He said that he was hopeful that the differences surfaced in the party would be resolved.

Likewise, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s press advisor Surya Thapa said that it was positive that the leaders held a meeting a after a long gap. “Hope, the next meeting will reach a conclusion,” he added.

Chairman Prachanda reached the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar to meet PM Oli, he added. Sapkota said, “The meeting has made a significant headway and this is a positive development to bridge the differences between the two chairmen. Both the chairmen have become ready to end the intra-party feud in the upcoming meeting.”

Bishnu Poudel, General Secretary of the party, and Standing Committee members Shanker Pokharel and Janardan Sharma ‘Pravakar’ were also present in the meeting, Prime Minister Oli’s media coordinator Ram Sharan Bajgain said.

Personal Secretariat of the chairmen informed that though the leaders were close to consensus, no concrete agreement was reached.

The meeting was held a day after PM Oli in a television interview had said that the ongoing intra-party feud would be settled down within five days. The party leaders are also hopeful of an agreement between the two sides within the next few days.

The NCP’s Standing Committee meeting was first called for June 24 to resolve the ongoing intra-party rift but it was deferred for the seventh time. For the compromise, there is the need to give up political stand taken by both the factions. Whether they agree or disagree, the current political stalemate has badly shaken the government.

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