Oli asks party’s sister organisations to help create a favourable environment for himAnalysts, however, say if Oli had lived up to the people’s expectations, they would have raised their voice in his support.
After being cornered within his own party, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is seeking support from the sister organisations of the ruling Nepal Communist Party to prop up his grip on power.
Oli on Thursday evening invited leaders of the party’s student and youth organisations at his residence and asked them to create a “favourable environment” for him on different fronts. Reiterating that foreign forces wanted to unseat him, he asked the students and youths to thwart such attempts.
“Even general members of the sister organisations have been asked to vote in favour of Oli and his government in opinion polls,” Naresh Regmi, a central working committee member of All Nepal National Independent Student Union, told the Post. He said Oli and his aides want to show party leaders that he still commands popular support from the general public.
Over a dozen student and youth leaders, all of them looking for a break in mainstream politics had a meeting with Oli on Thursday that lasted until midnight. The group led by Nepal Communist Party lawmaker Mahesh Basnet included Ain Mahar, coordinator of the student wing, and Sunita Baral and Ramesh Poudel, leaders of the student and youth wings.
Another student leader considered an ally of the Oli faction said the prime minister didn’t ask them to hit the streets, but said it was the responsibility of the youths and students to “create a favourable environment” for him and the government.
Student and youth leaders close to the opponent faction in the party, however, claim Oli asked them to demonstrate on the streets in his favour.
Political analysts say it is a matter of shame that the sitting prime minister wants rallies on the streets in his favour. Oli has left all of his predecessors behind in terms of political insincerity, they said.
Chandra Dev Bhatta, a political commentator, said Oli has set a bad precedent. “It is clear that Oli is concerned about power and nothing else. And he can move to any extent to retain it,” he told the Post. Bhatta added that Oli, who should be teaching the younger generation to practice fair politics, is teaching them to play foul. “Hismove is corrupting the new generation,” he said.
Analysts say Oli, who wasted over two years of his time in government despite enjoying a huge majority, seems to have lost faith in the general public. “Had Oli worked in accordance with the aspirations of the public, they would have raised their voices in his support,” Shreekrishna Aniruddh Gautam, a political commentator, told the Post.
He said, “What if the factions close to party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal instigate their loyalists to start similar rallies?”
Youth leaders from the Oli’s opponent faction, however, said the party leaders should resolve their differences through dialogue, not through demonstrations. “The protests on the streets are being held as substitutes to dialogue, and this is not acceptable,” said Ram Prasad Sapkota, coordinator of National Youth Federation, the youth wing of the ruling party wrote on his Facebook.
Gautam said Oli’s opponents should also not get a clean chit. It was wrong for them to seek the prime minister’s resignation through the party’s Secretariat and Standing Committee, he said. “The parliamentary party is the legal body where Oli’s prime ministership can be challenged,” he said.
Leaders of the student wings close to the establishment say they were aware of the ongoing rallies in favour of Oli, but ruled out the possibility that they were planned. “Yes, we had a meeting with the prime minister on Thursday. We urged him not to step down,” Mahar told the Post. “He didn’t ask us to demonstrate in his favour.”