More leaders demand Oli’s resignation at Wednesday Standing Committee meetAfter senior party leaders demanded Oli's resignation as both party chair and prime minister, Oli held an early morning meeting with loyalists to chart out a game plan.
A day after senior ruling party leaders, including Pushpa Kamal Dahal, demanded Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s resignation as both party chair and prime minister, more party leaders added their voices to the chorus on Wednesday.
Only five leaders spoke on Wednesday at the ongoing ruling party’s Standing Committee meeting, as there was a meeting of the House of Representatives to express condolences over the death of lawmaker Gyan Kumari Chhantyal. According to party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Nanda Kumar Prasain, Peshal Khatiwada, Leelamani Pokhrel, Matrika Yadav and Yogesh Bhattarai spoke at the meeting.
Among the five leaders, three of them—Khatiwada, Yadav and Pokhrel—demanded Oli’s resignation while the two others—Prasain and Bhattarai—urged him to correct his working style.
Yadav said that Oli was mentally, physically and ideologically unfit to serve as both prime minister and party chair, according to one Standing Committee member.
“Oli tried to defend himself by making statements that contradict diplomatic decorum, so we should not do more injustice to him by giving more responsibility,” a leader quoted Yadav as saying.
Pokhrel, who is a vocal critic of the government, said it would be a crime if the prime minister fails to provide evidence for his claims that plots are being hatched in New Delhi and Kathmandu to unseat him.
Oli, on Sunday, had implied that India, through its embassy in Kathmandu, was conspiring with party leaders to unseat him for issuing a new political map of Nepal that includes territories disputed with India. South Block has not been pleased with the new map.
Prasai, who leads the Senior Communists forum in the party, said that the prime minister’s statements went against the decorum of his position and suggested that Oli correct the way he speaks.
Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, who is from the Madhav Nepal camp, had said the ongoing conflict within the ruling party needs to be resolved, for which the role of the prime minister will be crucial.
“The prime minister needs to take the initiative to resolve issues and ensure that the party remains intact,” a Standing Committee member quoted Bhattarai as saying.
Bhattarai, who was invited to the prime minister’s residence Wednesday morning with other members of Oli’s Cabinet for consultation, had reportedly suggested that Oli discuss the conflict at the party Secretariat and come up with a proposal to strengthen the party unity.
“We have suggested to the prime minister that he has a major role to play in keeping the party intact,” said Lekhraj Bhatta, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies. “Ministers also suggested that he follow the party's instructions.”
Oli is currently under a lot of pressure to resign for his failure to run the government.
At Tuesday’s Standing Committee meeting, Dahal and senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal, Bamdev Gautam and Narayan Kaji Shrestha, along with 11 other Standing Committee members, sought Oli’s resignation as prime minister and party chair on the grounds that he had failed to effectively run the government and the party.
According to insiders, Oli feels that the opposing faction in the ruling party could consider employing the Parliamentary Party, where Oli falls short of around eight seats, to pass a vote of no-confidence and oust him as prime minister.