Party will not ask Prime Minister’s resignation, says Khanal

Oli-Dahal agreement


KATHMANDU, May 3: After nearly two weeks long intense tussle, the ruling Nepal Communist Party finally put the deadlock to bed on Saturday following a renewed Secretariat meeting, which saw the Executive Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal take his seat on the same line with Prime Minister and another chair K P Sharma Oli.

The dispute between the two factions led by Oli and Madhav Kumar Nepal-Dahal reached a climax after the prime minister suddenly pushed the ordinances related to Political Parties and Constitutional Council in late-mid April without consultation with the party.

And the surprise arrival of President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s approval for the controversial ordinances amid the Secretariat meeting which was urging the prime minister to drop them only frustrated not only the majority of the Secretariat members but also the standing committee, as a result, Oli’s chairmanship and premiership both became an easy target for the rival faction.

Tough Oli was not ready to submit to rivals’ demand and both factions subsequently began the exercise to show their strength in the parliamentary party by collecting signatures in their support, which led to speculations that the party which only merged on the eve of the 2017 Elections is on the verge of an unfortunate disaster.

Oli then played the Bam Dev Gautam card, promising him the position of the prime minister, the position Gautam holds dear since he lost the parliamentary election and he is the only top senior leader in the ruling party not having a chance to lead the government. 

The proposal broke the Bhaisapati alliance as Gautam started exploring legal possibilities for his dream job, which also gave Oli majority in the Secretariat as he had already convinced Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa to his side.

The nine-member Secretariat decided to elect Gautam to the House of Representatives “in the appropriate time” and fixed a date for standing committee meeting which seemed uncertain owing to the intraparty feud. The prime minister, who has long been criticized for running the party unilaterally, also agreed to run the government as per the party’s instructions.

The storm seems to have calmed for now but the senior leader and Secretariat member Jhala Nath Khanal argued there is more works to be done yet.

“PM Oli and Dahal self-criticized the weaknesses and showed a willingness to move forward the party in integrity and as per the people’s mandate. I also welcomed the idea and told them that the Secretariat meeting is not enough thus we should call the standing committee meeting immediately and review these issues and reach a conclusion,” said Khanal adding, “Other Secretariat members were also unambiguous to the idea,” he told Rishi Dhamala.

“The ordinances had created a ripple within the party, but now it has relaxed as we all have realized that the party should run in cohesion in principles, police and statute by correcting mistakes instead of disputes.”

“The party has united again,” he added.

The Secretariat has decided to hold the standing committee meeting on May 7.

“As per the conclusion of the standing committee meeting, we will present a report that will put forward the roadmap for the party.”

“PM Oli has also given his word to move ahead in unity. He will run the government as per the instruction of the party.”

When asked if the party will ask for the prime minister’s resignation, Khanal said, “No, we won’t ask for his resignation.”

“The proposal to make Gautam as prime minster has faded for now. But electing him to the House of Representatives is certain.”

“Moreover, the talks about making Nepal as the third chair of the party have also fainted,” he added.

“We are not in the mood for further ripple in the party. We all want to move the government and the party in a stable environment,” he said.

About the possible reshuffle in the Council of Ministers, he said: “These will be done respectively.”