Nicolo Machiavelli writes that a Prince is respected when he is either a true friend or a downright enemy. A prince loses the trust and respect from both when he starts playing each other for the sake of own personal gain.
For Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, the tactics of playing with each other seems to be working to sustain his power base. Prime Minister Oli has been successfully using all these tricks internally and externally to thrive in power, sidelining all his enemies.
For the sake of his own power, PM Oli shakes hands with the enemy and friend alike. Following abruptly ending the budget session of House of Representatives in July, Prime Minister Oli’s enemies launched a joint move to pull him out of power.
He broke the enemy camp a month ago luring Bam Dev Gautam from rival faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalnath Khanal. After luring Gautam by offering him a post of vice president and member in Upper House, Oli has strengthened his position.
Following lingering standing committee meeting, PM Oli lured Prachanda in his favor offering executive chairman to him. After this co-chairpersons of the NCP Oli and Dahal have prepared the agenda for the meeting on the basis of the report submitted by the six-member task force.
This strategy has further weakened the enemy camp. Although PM Oli was able to bow out his own time die-hard comrade Madhav Nepal and Jhalnath Khanal, he has lost the trust.
In three months, Prime Minister Oli emerged from a minority in the standing committee to the majority support. There is now no one to challenge his authority. Till April, as the standing committee meeting concluded last week agreeing to hold General Convention from April 7 to 12, 2021 and its Central Committee meeting from October 31 to November 2.
The Standing Committee of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) held on September 11 passed the agenda prepared jointly by the two co-chairpersons of the party — KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal — and decided to give Dahal executive powers to run the party.
“The committee also decided that the party would not interfere in Oli’s day to day work as PM, but on key governance policies and issues of national importance. Similarly, Oli would have to follow the party’s guidelines,” said spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
With no sign for ending the stalemate, PM Oli and Prachanda agreed to set up a task force to recommend the functioning of the party and government. The report of six-member task force gives a new life to PM Oli.
The force had stated that Oli would remain the prime minister till the general election and would focus on governance, while Dahal would hold party meetings, implement party decisions and focus mainly on party affairs. The task force has also suggested that the party prepare for the first unity convention scheduled from April 7 to 12 on the basis of consensus.
Although it was prepared by a committee including arch-enemy Bhim Rawal, both the agenda passed by the committee were as per the wishes of PM Oli
Seven agenda that the Standing Committee meeting of the ruling party had been discussing before the meeting was postponed indefinitely, included COVID-19, the government’s performance, the relation between the party and the government, millennium challenge corporation agreement and border issues with India.
After these adjustments, the NCP faction led by Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, who had earlier asked Oli to resign either as PM or party co-chair, dropped their demand. The whole anti-Oli group has lost the strength following Dahal faction toned down the rhetoric against Oli.
PM Oli has also been applying a similar approach in dealing with neighbors and other international powers. He verbally assured United States till last minute to pass MCC agreement from the House of Representatives in the budget session. Abruptly ending the session just a day before tabling MCC agreement, he prevented controversy in anti-American oriented communist party.
If the political dynamic of Nepal is any indication, it shows how Prime Minister Oli has been using all dirty tricks one after another to weaken enemy and sustain in power.
Following the promulgation of Constitution in 2015, Oli has made several political alliances with different political groups. During his first tenure following the promulgation of new constitution in 2015, Oli formed a coalition government with support from Prachanda’s Maoist and self-claimed monarchist and Hindu party RPP led by Kamal Thapa.
When Prachanda withdrew the support to his government, he criticized Prachanda as a foreign stooge. Later in the elections, he agreed to make unification with Prachanda led parties.
In his first tenure, PM Oli projected himself as a die-hard anti-Indian leader taking a stand against the blockade imposed by India. He even signed several agreements with northern neighbor to end dependency on South. After the current agreement with Prachanda, Oli agreed to drop the issue of new map with India.
With his initiative, Prachanda led Maoist and Oli led UML formed an alliance, contested the elections on anti-Indian plank exploiting the blockade to woo the votes. Following the election, winning nearly a two-thirds majority, he has taken some initiatives to reestablish his relations with Indian government led by Narendra Modi. PM Oli vehemently criticized Modi led BJP government during the election campaigns projecting India as hegemonic power.
He hosted Chinese president Xi showing that he is true nationalist leader who can stand with India. Following the publication of new map by India, Oli found another fire to harp anti-Indian slogan.
Under his leadership, Nepal’s parliament amended the constitution and ratifies a new map incorporating disputed within Nepal. Facing several criticisms for inefficiency and non-performance, PM Oli claimed himself as a great nationalist leader.
As Chankya said in politics every action is fair. He argues those individuals in power need to use cunningness, cruelty, corrupt trick in politics and state affairs. Chanakya, however, hinted that all these quality cannot rescue King Dhanananda from losing him empire and power.