Standing Committee meet may linger if chiefs fail to convince leadersPrime Minister KP Sharma Oli is fielding tough questions, mostly related to his working style, from Standing Committee members.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is fielding tough questions, mostly related to his working style, from Standing Committee members.
With few Standing Committee (SC) members, including Chief Ministers Shankar Pokhrel and Prithvi Subba Gurung, advisor Bishnu Rimal and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Poudel by his side, many leaders close to Madhav Nepal are strongly against endorsing the political document without incorporating their concerns.
Ministers have defended the government’s activities while some other leaders stood by him but Oli will have tough time responding to his opponents’ concerns.
“Let’s see how the two chairmen revise their political document. We will act accordingly,” said Ghanashyam Bhusal, one of the most critical SC members, who argues with Oli at the meetings.
At first the party leadership presented the joint document to the SC on December 15. The core party members criticised some of its observations. Leaders said now was the time for dialogue to resolve them all.
“If the leadership fails to come up with ways to resolve the issues, the meeting will go long,” said senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal.
Many SC members had questioned the prime minister for taking decisions related to the government without consulting with party colleagues. “If the government fails, the party will suffer the most,” Khanal remarked.
Since the government’s performance is directly related to the party’s success or failure, leaders said the party should be consulted on issues that may drag it into controversies.
The political document presented by the chairmen was criticised by most leaders since it was not endorsed by the secretariat. “Had it been approved by the secretariat, it could have invited less criticism,” said Ganesh Sah, an SC member.
With most leaders speaking against the issues presented in the document, Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal will have a tough time incorporating the issues to their satisfaction.
At the meeting held after a long time, leaders had a lot of grievances over the activities of the party leadership and the government. Most comments were related to the working style of Oli and their concerns over the government’s controversial moves.
Leaders including Bhim Rawal and Bhusal had heated exchanges with the PM on Sunday after Oli told Rawal not to “dictate me”.
Due to the busy schedule and lack of preparations, the two chairmen had decided to skip the meeting for three days. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
Even Madhav Nepal’s involvement in the controversial Asia Pacific Summit was questioned during the meeting but his response failed to satisfy them.
Oli’s response is awaited to over the government’s involvement in the religious summit for which the SC members demanded self-criticism.
The toughest question for Oli to answer will be Bamdev Gautam’s proposal to allow Dahal to lead the party while he focuses on the government. Oli has already ruled out the proposal suggesting humorously that the constitution did not allow two prime ministers in office.
Besides, SC members have also demanded implementation of the one-man-one-position policy, which will affect the two chief ministers close to Oli—Pokhrel and Gurung—as they are also the provincial chiefs of the party. Pokhrel had told the meeting that he would rather leave the CM’s post than the provincial chief’s role.
Dahal, however, is in a mood to wait and see. “Dahal will not do anything against Oli until the national convention,” said an SC member close to Dahal. The NCP leaders have agreed to lead the unified party through consensus until the election of a new leadership.
Sources claimed that the two chairs would form a panel on Wednesday to finalise the unification process of the remaining party committees including the district committees and sister wings.