NCP calls Secretariat meeting on Wednesday amid intra-party feud

Nepal Communist Party

KATHMANDU, April 28: Following a discussion between Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has summoned the Secretariat meeting on Wednesday, which seemed uncertain owing to the intra-party dispute.

The dispute within the ruling party has culminated in the last few days after Oli introduced the controversial ordinances without prior consultation with the party and despite serious reservations from the party secretariat, which widened the rift between Oli and his rival Madhav Kumar Nepal.

He was forced to withdraw the ordinances five days later following a mounting pressure from within the party and a political drama arranged to split the Samajbadi Party, but his push left him with no choice but to deal with the leaders at both Secretariat and standing committee meeting, which also put his position as the parliamentary party leader and premiership at risk.

As the move cost Oli majority in the standing committee as well, he is now desperate to win support from his rival faction Madhav Kumar Nepal who holds key to about 40 members of the 174-member parliamentary party. Former CPN-UML has 121 members while former Maoist Center has 53 members.

And failing to bring Nepal into confidence mean Oli could lose the position of parliamentary party leader as he falls short of ten members.

If Nepal and Dahal join hands against Oli, he could lose the premiership should he face the vote of no-confidence motion. The prime minister needs support from 138 lawmakers from 275-member parliament to retain the position.

But, Oli faction could exercise for winning the support from 10 members to save Oli’s position.

Besides, if Oli is to put the dispute to bed avoiding the mathematics of members, he will have to give up the position of either the chairmanship or the premiership as demanded by Nepal, which the prime minister is reluctant to give in to.

And if the dispute is pushed further to the standing committee meeting, there is also a risk Oli could lose both his positions.

Party insiders have started guessing that the dispute could even lead to change in the government.

Leaders close to Oli faction has argued that holding the Secretariat meeting before resolving the dispute would not lead to any resolution but Nepal faction has demanded the meeting be called immediately as it is the only way out.

Oli’s aides Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel, General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and Standing Committee members Shankhar Pokharel and Pradeep Gyawali held hours long meeting with leaders from Nepal faction, Surendra Pandey, Bhim Rawal and Raguji Pant on Monday but failed to reach a concrete deal to end the current crisis.

The meeting scheduled at 5 pm tomorrow evening is expected to decide on the standing committee meeting.

The 20 members of the standing committee has already written to the party to call a meeting.