The much-awaited crucial meeting of the Central Secretariat of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) on Wednesday ended in a stalemate with Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli demanding ten days’ time to present a separate political document in response to his rival Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda’s” accusations that he was running the government without consulting the party.
As soon as the meeting started at Prime Minister Oli’s official residence in Baluwatar, Oli told the members of the Secretariat that he will present a separate political document in the next meeting and demanded ten days’ time for preparation, party’s spokesperson Narayankaji Shrestha said.
The next meeting of the Secretariat has been rescheduled for November 28, he said.
The brief meeting began at 1 pm (local time) amidst fears of splitting the largest communist party, that enjoys almost two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives.
The meeting was supposed to discuss the 19-page political report submitted by the party’s executive chairman Prachanda during Friday’s Secretariat meeting in which he had accused Oli of running the government without consulting the party and failing to abide by the party’s due procedures, according to sources close to the ruling party.
The meeting comes after rift resurfaced in the CPN following a meeting between Oli and his opponent Prachanda on October 31, with the prime minister hinting at splitting the party. Oli had also turned down Prachanda’s request to convene a Central Secretariat meeting to resolve the ongoing power struggle.
Oli and Prachanda resolved their differences in September by agreeing to a power-sharing deal, ending the months-long dispute in the party.
All the nine members of the Secretariat were present during the crucial meeting, which was convened on the initiative of Prachanda.
Not briefing the party’s Secretariat regarding his recent talks with India’s Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Samant Kumar Goel by Oli was one of the key issues raised by Prachanda in his political report, a senior Standing Committee member of the party said.
Earlier, Oli had asked Prachanda to take back the report saying that it was not acceptable to him.
The two leaders are at loggerheads over a number of issues, including the controversy that surfaced in the party following the meeting between Goel and Oli on October 21, party sources said.
Oli has also come under fire from the country’s political leaders, including from the ruling Communist Party, for breaching diplomatic norms over the meeting.
The party has also decided to convene Standing Committee and Central Committee meetings on December 3 and 10 respectively, party sources said to sort out the differences between the two warring factions within the party.
In the morning, Oli went to Rashtrapati Bhawan at Sheetalniwas in Kathmandu to meet President Bidya Bhandari for the purpose of holding consultation regarding the internal turmoil facing the party.
According to party sources, Chinese ambassador Hou Yanqui went to Baluwatar to meet Prime Minister Oli and held political consultation in the wake of the intra-party feud.
Last week, Prachanda and Oli also exchanged letters accusing each other. Prachanda, in the five page letter to Oli, asked him indirectly to step down. In response, Oli sent a 10-page letter to Prachanda asking him not to harbour factionalism in the party.
As the internal dispute in the party has intensified, the largest communist party has come at the crossroads and it may split at any time, said party insiders.
However, some moderate leaders of the party are working to patch up the differences, making last attempts to save the ruling party.
The party’s internal dispute had surfaced after the dissident group leaders, including Prachanda and senior leader of the party Madhav Kumar Nepal, demanded Oli’s resignation from both as the party’s chairman and as Nepal’s prime minister after he accused the dissident leaders of conspiring against him to topple his government.
In June, Oli claimed that efforts are being made to oust him after his government redrew the country’s political map by incorporating three strategically key Indian territories.
India termed as “untenable” the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal after its Parliament unanimously approved the new political map of the country featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura areas which India maintains bellng to it.
However, after several rounds of negotiations, the Standing Committee of the party on September 11 endorsed a 15-point decision drafted by a six member task force which was formed to resolve the long-standing dispute between two factions in the party, one led by Oli and the other led by Prachanda.