NCP Chairmen Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ (L) and KP Oli. (File photo)
KATHMANDU: Amidst speculation that the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is heading towards a split, a ‘decisive’ meeting between NCP Chairmen KP Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has begun at Baluwatar.
The meeting dubbed as a last-ditch effort to stop the party split began at prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar around 12 noon.
Two leaders each from two factions—Bishnu Poudel and Shankar Pokharel from Oli faction and Barshaman Pun and Janardan Sharma from Dahal camp— are present at the meeting.
According to sources, during the meeting discussions will be held on PM Oli running the government without going beyond the party’s mandate as per an earlier agreement, forming a five-member task force comprising leaders including Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam among others and changing some Cabinet ministers and Chief Ministers among other issues.
Prior to the meeting, NCP Chairman Prachanda, senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam, Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, among others discuss the intra-party wrangling within the NCP with President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Sources say that the party will enter the phase of split if the meeting fails to resolve the issue.
The meeting of the two dissenting factions scheduled for Saturday could not take place as the top leaders, who were trying to find a way out by postponing the ongoing standing committee meeting from Thursday, were active in flexing muscles rather than resolving the dispute.
The prime minister during his meeting with ministers and ministers for state at his official residence in Baluwatar on Saturday had said attempts were made to file an impeachment motion against President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
He had also informed Cabinet ministers that he had decided to end the Parliament session after learning that party members were preparing to file an impeachment motion to oust the president.
According to a minister, the prime minister had said he was ready to make a decision if necessary.
“He instructed the ministers to clarify their position and prepare for a decision,” the minister had said, “Even if the Prime Minister didn’t not clarify, there is a possibility of party split or any other political decision.”
The Prime Minister was adamant that he won’t quit both the post of Chairman and Prime Minister. The prime minister had made it clear that he was not in favor of resigning under any circumstances to protect the nation and the communist movement.
According to sources, PM Oli is preparing to bring an ordinance on political parties to make it easier for the party to split before a decision of the Standing Committee if consensus is forged.
In preparation for that, Oli had a secret meeting with Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba three days ago. It has further riled the Dahal camp.
Earlier on Friday, the Chairman duo discussed for three hours and had decided to sit again for talks on Saturday. But, the talks failed to happen.
Prime Minister Oli has clearly stated that he will not resign from the post of Prime Minister and Chairman under any circumstances, while Dahal has put pressure on him to resign from one of the two posts.