Oli not in mood to recommend Gautam to National Assembly

National Assembly

KATHMANDU, Feb 27: The Nepal Communist Party Secretariat Wednesday nominated party Vice-chair Bam Dev Gautam as the National Assembly member but Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli is unlikely to take him to the upper house.

Gautam’s name was finalized against Oli’s will and the chair has warned he would renominate Finance Minister Yuvaraj Khatiwada who two-year tenure as due to expire next week. He was appointed to the upper house by the president upon the recommendation of the Oli government. 

Oli has fallen into minority especially after Pushpa Kamal Dahal was named the executive chair of the party in return for letting the Prime Minister lead the government for a full five-year term. Previously, the two chair duo had reached a secret deal to head the government for an equal period.

And most of the secretariat members except Ishwar Pokhrel have aligned with Dahal of late, most of the decisions including the election of Agni Sapkota as Speaker have been taken against Oli’s will.

Sources have claimed that Dahal, senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal, Madhav Nepal and Gautam had assembled at Dahal’s residence in Khumaltar before the secretariat meeting.

He had also warned the secretariat members he would not tolerate any conspiracies against him during the meeting, according to reports.

“If you have already decided to nominate Gautam to National Assembly, lets nominate him.”

“But I am ready to face the challenge.”

Soon after the meeting, Oli had called senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and warned him the Council of Minister would not recommend Gautam for the vacant president quota. 

And it was Dahal who proposed Gautam’s name for the upper house and, as well as a plan for constitution amendment clearing the way for Gautam, who lost the 2017 parliamentary election, to head the government in the capacity of prime minister.

However, the plan was not materialized as the secretariat dissolved the planned three-member taskforce comprising of Nepal, Subash Nembang and Khimlal Devkota before it was even formed owing to criticisms within the party and public outcry.

Oli has accused his rival faction of forwarding Gautam’s name in the influence of some industrialists who are unhappy with Finance Minister Khatiwada.