NCP row: Greed overpowers ideology

Prakash Giri

July 31, 2020

8 MIN READ

NCP row: Greed overpowers ideology
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The ruling Nepal Communist Party that came into being following the merger between the then CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist-Center) has been caught in a political quagmire of late.

KP Sharma Oli took charge as the Prime Minister after the CPN-UML in alliance with the then CPN (Maoist Center) emerged as the largest party in the general election held in 2017.

Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal agreed to undergo a merger between the two parties but they did not come into terms with the leadership issue.

Based on the vote-count results, Oli had been proposed to become the party chairman and Dahal had been offered the post of vice-chairman.

Finally, two groups agreed to make both Oli and Dahal as the chairpersons of the party. Once an agreement was forged on the leadership issue, both the groups put aside the political ideology of people’s multiparty democracy or people’s democracy until the general convention of the party.

Even at this time, they could have sorted out the issues of party line and political ideology before forging a deal on the leadership row that is taking a new height.

This, as a matter of fact, is a wrong practice which the NCP is still following. Can a party become a communist party without political ideology?

The waves triggered by Oli-Gautam meeting reached as far as Khumaltar. Prime Minister Oli has been in minority in Party Secretariat, Standing Committee and Central Committee of the party.

According to political analyst Bishnu Sapkota, the sole objective of KP Oli was to become the prime minister and party chairman. The Standing Committee (SC) meeting of the NCP had been called for June 24 to discuss a seven-point agenda.

But the SC meeting could not take place from June 27 after leaders of Oli camp and Dahal-Madhav camp were divided over some issues.

Oli camp has been abstaining from the SC meeting after the Dahal-Nepal camp demanded Oli’s resignation from both of his posts.

Already deadlocked, Dahal-Nepal camp held SC meeting on Tuesday without the presence of Oli camp at Baluwatar.

Commenting on the meeting, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai wrote on his Facebook, “The party is on the verge of a split. Let’s exercise restraints.”

Leaders loyal to Oli’s camp maintain that Oli’s patriotic image built so far by endorsing the revised map of Nepal will go down the drain if he steps down.

Bhattarai wrote this status but did not attend the meeting. Not only Bhattarai as many as 16 other members associated with Oli camp did turn up in the meeting.

Prime Minister Oli who abstained from the meeting instead went to Bhainsepati to visit Bamdev Gautam who had issued a six-point proposal to thrash out intra-party differences. It was Oli’s dinner diplomacy.

General Secretary Bishnu Paudel had accompanied him. It should be noted that this meeting was not clandestine. There had been a photo session following the meeting.

The waves triggered by Oli-Gautam meeting reached as far as Khumaltar. Prime Minister Oli has been in minority in Party Secretariat, Standing Committee and Central Committee of the party.

The SC meeting has not taken place for the past one month. The party’s dispute further deepened after Prime Minister accused some party leaders of trying to oust him at the behest of India.

Already under fire over the government’s poor performance, Dahal-Nepal camp became furious over Oli’s statement terming it ‘politically incorrect’ and started demanding his resignation.

He has not been able to take the party leaders into confidence and improve the performance of the party. The party is facing a serious deadlock with heavyweights without budging an inch from their respective stances.

Oli has already been able to take Vice-Chairman Bamdev Gautam into his confidence aside from youth leaders who are voicing in favor of Oli saying that the party should not split.

The SC which had begun to discuss the seven-point agenda has not been postponed time and again without entering the second point of the agenda.

The intra-party feud has taken a new height putting the SC meeting on hold after Oli’s resignation entered as an agenda in the meeting.

The Dahal-Nepal camp has been heaping pressure on Oli to resign from both of his posts but Oli is unwilling to resign from his posts.

Leaders loyal to Oli’s camp maintain that Oli’s patriotic image built so far by endorsing the revised map of Nepal will go down the drain if he steps down.

He, therefore, wants to have a graceful exit by handing over the chairmanship to Dahal through the upcoming general convention of the party and lead the government until the tenure of the House of Representatives.

But Dahal-Nepal group is not ready to accept Oli’s idea. Dahal also does not feel secure as the second-rung leaders led by Ishwar Pokharel are equally looking for opportunities to take over the party’s helm.

Oli is likely to follow the ideological path propounded by Madan Bhandari in case the party splits. If Dahal became dominant in the party, he can also align with Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Dahal is not likely to embrace people’s multiparty democracy as postulated by late leader Madan Bhandari while Nepal may not follow people’s democracy.

That is why Oli is building intimacy with the main opposition leader of late. Deuba, according to reports, is said to have held meetings with Oli at Baluwatar.

Oli has already been able to take Vice-Chairman Bamdev Gautam into his confidence aside from youth leaders who are voicing in favor of Oli saying that the party should not split.

Some leaders loyal to Dahal including Ram Bahadur Thapa, Lekh Raj Bhatta, Mani Thapa, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Horibol Gajurel and Janardan Sharma seem to be favoring Oli of late.

It seems that the leaders and cadres of former CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist) have intermingled in the NCP by means of vested interest, not in terms of ideological line.

Dahal and Nepal are now in the same camp and their hobnobbing may last as long as their vested interest is fulfilled.

Dahal is not likely to embrace people’s multiparty democracy as postulated by late leader Madan Bhandari while Nepal may not follow people’s democracy.

Hence, their alliance may not last for a long time. Oli and Nepal are likely to come to the same ideological line when the party will hold the general convention as both of them hold people’s multiparty democracy.

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