Kathmandu 29 June.
The dispute within Nepal communist party has reached the climax of almost undeclared tussle between prime minister KP Oli and Prachanda-Madhav faction on Tuesday. The meeting of NCP standing committee held on 22 June had summoned the next meeting for 29 June 2020. However, uncertainty had increased at a time when NCP general secretary reached Khumaltar based Prachanda’s residence with the other chairman KP Sharma Oli’s proposal to adjourn the meeting called for Tuesday. However, NCP meeting of the 44-member standing committee formally convened on the presence of 29 standing committee members and 2 invited members. Prachanda-Madhav faction held standing committee meeting suspended by PM Oli at Baluwatar ignoring the notice issued on behalf of Oli. The meeting made a decision of the violation of party statute by PM Oli through unitary suspension of the pre-scheduled meeting unitarily. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, spokesperson of NCP said the meeting has given responsibility to the other chairman Prachanda to fix the next SC meeting with the consultation of Oli. Whereas, PM Oli was holding an informal discussion with his close aids on the possible steps that the meeting could have taken.
According to a sources PM Oli had been susceptive of the possible danger of directing him to step down from the post. But his suspicion remained only suspicion after the meeting unanimously endorsed the proposal to provide responsibility to Prachanda to initiate the next meeting after carrying consultation with PM Oli.
One of the close aids of Oli said the proposal floated by Bam Dev Gautam in the meeting has somehow temporarily relieved Oli who had been under the pressure of leaving any one of the posts. Vice chairman Gautam has made his 6-point proposal public citing to safeguard party unity. Gautam had handed his proposal to Prachanda early in the morning at the latter’s residence at Khumaltar. But Prachanda had outright discarded the proposal and Gautam is said to have circulated his proposal to Oli and other leaders. Gautam presented the same proposal in the standing committee meeting too.
The main motto of Gautam initiated proposal is to allow Oli to remain as Prime Minister for his full tenure and chairman of the party until the unity general convention and to activate Prachanda as the executive chairman of NCP. However, both chairmen have the understanding that it has not been implemented though the secretariat meeting held in December last year had made the same decision.
Senior leaders Jhalnath Khanal, Madhav Nepal, Vice chairman Bam Dev Gautam, party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha including 29 standing committee members were present in Tuesday’s meeting chaired by chairman Prachanda in the absence of PM Oli. It is a serious challenge for PM Oli. Prachanda’s press coordinator, Bishnu Sapkota had posted the information immediately after the beginning of Standing committee meeting at Baluwatar on his Facebook wall. Party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha had also mentioned about the meeting that was scheduled to hold on 28 June. Leaders close to Prachanda- Nepal faction have an understanding of the conclusion of standing committee meetings despite the boycott by the leaders affiliated to Oli faction. However, leaders close to Oli has termed this meeting as an informal discussion.
Vice chairman had presented his 6-point proposal in the meeting. Realizing Gautam’s proposal to support him, PM Oli had consented to join a dinner with his wife, Radhika Shakya to be hosted in Bhaisepati based Gautam’s residence on Tuesday in coordination of general secretary Bishnu Paudel. But Gautam, speaking in the meeting, had pointed Oli to be the main factor of the current crisis.
Quoting Gautam, Standing Committee member Devendra Paudel said, “ He ( Oli) does not leave despite this mush number of friends have insisted him. I had told that neither government nor the party could run under KP’s leadership before a year. Madhav Comrade that time advised us to let him rectify. Oli does not have courage enough to listen criticism. He is no more a communist.” Gautam clarifying about the rational of his proposal, Gautam said, “Despite many weaknesses with PM Oli, I have advised you all not to remove him as he can split NCP”. Gautam was of the view that there was an underlying danger of immediate accident in case the dirt they were compelled to carry on their shoulder was shaken off. Gautam further said, “Even god becomes afraid of an evil one”. Despite Gautam’s bitter criticism against Oli, his proposal ultimately is thought to have currently healed his headache. A reliable source said Gautam was not in such a mood till Monday night. General secretary Poudel has opined that the proposal was drafted on his consensus. Standing committee member and Chief Minister of Gandaki province, Prithivi Subba Gurung has commented that Gautam’s proposal can be a point of consensus. There are people who consider that one chairman can summon party meeting taking consent of the other chairman but without the consent it is considered to be against party statute. In this concern there is a dispute even within the statute.
A proposal presented before two chairmen to immediately stop party disintegration
- Comrade KP Sharma Oli is to remain on the responsibility of chairman and Prime Minister for the remaining duration of current house of representatives.
- Comrade Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is to remain in the responsibility of an executive chairman of the party until unity general convention.
- Party general convention is to organize in consensus.
- No intervention in day to day activities of the government by the party, however, consultation with party is to be made before reaching a decision on issues related to national and international significance. Policy and standard are to be formulated and implemented for the promotion and transfer of civil servants and security personnel.
- The reshuffle of council of ministers should is to be made upon the consultation of party secretariat and consultation with secretariat is to be made prior to the presentation of government’s policy, program, and budget prior to their official presentation.
- Party meeting, henceforth, are to be conducted in party office.
28 June, 2020 Bam Dev Gautam
Nepal Communist Party
With a feeling of some relief after Gautam’s 6-point proposal, PM Oli had reached Gautam’s residence at Bhaisepati Tuesday evening to meet Gautam with his wife Radhika Shakya. Oli had spent around 2 hours in Gautam’s residence and their group family photo has been publicized. General secretary Paudel was also with them in the dinner meeting. Gautam and Paudel both reside at Bhaisepati. Reliable source says Oli has presented his view with leaders close to hm to move ahead in accordance to Gautam’s proposal. However, leaders close to Oli said Oli is not in the mood of leaving none of the posts before the usual time.
Standing Committee members on behalf of former Maoist, Home minister and secretariat member Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Industry Lekh Raj Bhatta , and SC member Mani Thapa were not present in Tuesday’s meeting.
According to standing Committee member, Devendra Paudel , all the members expressing their views in the meeting had shown their serious concern in party unity. Paudel Says, “ we have suggested Prachanda to seek consensus. There is no option to save protect constitution and the government. We have suggested to play the role in favour of party unity adjourning the ongoing SC meeting instead of making decisions on the ground of majority”. Leaders close to Prachanda- Nepal group are of the view that efforts will be made to carry derailed discussions and seek consensus. They don’t see much significance of the proposal forwarded by Gautam. They say, “Bam Dev does not have song stance. He leans here and there as per his convenience and whim. They are of the view that Gautam’s position does not make any numerical differences in the standing committee.
The message of the Standing Committee meeting that was boycotted by Oli.
The propaganda made by Prachanda- Nepal group to remove Oli through majority has not only been proved false but also the meeting has passed a proposal to make an utmost effort till the end to seek unity. It has shown that majority of the party is not in the side of party split. NCP leaders have said that Prachanda is not in the mentality to sideline Oli and split party.
Prime Minister Oli not only remained absent in the standing committee meeting but also directed 14 members close to him to be absent in the meeting. Oli had made the notice of the adjournment of SC meeting public shortly before 11 PM through his press advisor, Surya Thapa. The meeting held in absence of Oli endorsed a proposal. Following is the decision of the meeting held on 28 June, 2020 according party spokesperson, Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
“ It was not appropriate to issue the notice of the adjournment of SC meeting against party statute by party chairman Comrade KP Sharma Oli . At this adverse situation, this meeting has decided to provide responsibility to chairman Prachanda to discuss with Oli and resume party meeting keeping in view of party unity, law, and tradition. Along with this today’s meeting has urged all the leaders, party workers, members and well-wishers to play significant roles from respective places for the protection of party unity, run party in accordance to law and system, and provide positive suggestions to give way to the present crisis of the party.”
Early in the morning Prachanda had discussed with standing committee members including ministers ( SC Members) close to him. Prachanda had told the ministers present in the meeting that he was planning to discuss on COVID-19 and form a common concept to fight against it and seek consensus on various issue in the party secretariat meeting to be held on Wednesday.
At a time when Prachanda was discussing with the leaders he received a phone call from PM Oli who proposed to stop the meeting called for 11. AM that morning. Prachanda responded Oli, “ Lets not stop the meeting, I will come there and discuss”. As he was about to leave for Baluwatar he saw a face book information about the adjournment of the meeting. The information was posted on the face book wall by Oli press advisor, Surya Thapa. PM Oli and the Chairman made a unitary decision to stop the prescheduled meeting. Prachanda-Nepal side got dissented after PM Oli made the information public on behalf of party general secretary Poudel and press advisor, Thapa. Prachanda and Jhalnath met PM Oli at Baluwatar after having brief discussion. Prachanda urged PM Oli to join the party meeting but Oli responded negatively and said he would not join the meeting since he had already stopped.
Speaking in front of media after the meeting, party spokesperson Narayan Kaji said, “Prior to pointing the act of issuing face book notice about the adjournment of party SC meeting by Oli as an act against party statute , chairman Comrade Prachanda and Senior leader Jhalnath Khanal had discussed with Chairman Oli”.
Prachanda addressed the members of standing committee at a hall after he returned back meeting Oli. According to one of the members Prachnada said, “It is against the underlying intention of the consensus lies between two chairmen. He committed a mistake through adjourning meeting and it does not help protecting party unity”. Promising to do his level best to safeguard party unity despite Oli’s effort to split the party, Prachanda advised all members not to be much excited. He told to resume the meeting after having consultations and discussions with PM Oli. Some of the standing committee members had presented their views in the meeting after Prachanda.
Blow to Oli
Concluding the act of unitary adjournment of standing committee meeting by Oli to be an inappropriate decision the meeting has given responsibility of resuming standing committee meeting after the consultation with Chairman and PM Oli.
It was not appropriate to issue the notice of the adjournment of SC meeting against party statute by party chairman Comrade KP Sharma Oli, said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, party spokesperson adding that at such adverse situation, this meeting has decided to provide responsibility to chairman Prachanda to discuss with Oli and resume party meeting keeping in view of party unity, law, and tradition. Most of the speakers in the meeting said an effort to establish a bad tradition to let KP Oli do whatever he prefers and unquestionably follow what he directs. According to the meeting was essential to break such tradition, although Tuesdays’ meeting was no more than to seek consensus with Oli through not entering to the main agenda.
Bhim Rawal Questions, He who does not follow party statute, becomes a great pro-unity supporter.
Bhim Rawal an influential leader was of the view that the meeting that continued for a long time from 25 July till date could not make any substantial decision. No discussion so far could be carried in the meeting on any issue. This has hurt against our credibility before our people and others in terms of our party’s performance. We are not in the position to show our appearance in public sphere. At a time when the government had proclaimed an ordinance, we 20 standing committee members demanded in written to summon immediate SC meeting as per the Article 49 clause 4 of our party statute. Despite our demand based on our statute, meeting was not called. It is not appropriate not to enter the agenda, not carry in depth discussion on the issue, and not finalize any issue. We should reach the conclusion after having intense discussions. We have not done so for only post as some of the people have been blaming. We have not demanded standing committee meeting only for the sake of post though the question of post obviously links in course of initiating discussions. That is different issue. Some of the people have undermine us while we are raising concerns towards nationality. Let such message not go to public. We have raised issues with due importance. We have great concern over people and the country.
The issue of party split is being discussed outside. We have to move ahead in accordance to the party statute and make our party united. We should not talk about party split. It is wrong to blame one who always speaks against party split for supporting party split.
He who defies party statute, party system, and pays no attention in, party discussions can’t be considered to be standing in favor of party unity and he, who always insists in party statute, system and unity can’t be considered to be an anti-party unity. We are on the side of moving our part forth with united spirit.
Our vice chairman, Bam Dev Gautam has tried for party unity through his 6-point proposal. All should try to make such effort. I would like to thank him. We should always try to make our party intact. However, such issues should be discussed in the ongoing standing committee meeting and should be finalized through the meeting.
The kind of situation that has emerged in the party from Tuesday has signaled the possibility of the escalation of dispute more than its settlement. Probably, internalizing the gravity of the present context SC member and minister Yogesh Bhattarai has posted on social network, “Accident seems to be approaching, lets carry consultation”.
Although NCP is almost standing on the verge of crisis, maximum of the leaders is hope to have get solution and way out after the discussions between two chairmen. Moreover, the Tuesday’s meeting’s conclusion is to disseminate a message to all NCP leaders, workers, and well-wishers that NCP will remain intact and won’t split as Prachanda has firmly stood in favor of party unity.