All-party meeting begins at Baluwatar but some leaders are absentMaoist Centre Chair Dahal, Samajbadi Party Chair Yadav are among those absent at the meeting expected to discuss contemporary political issues including midterm polls among others.
An all-party meeting called by Prime Minister KP Oli to discuss contemporary political issues among others has begun at the prime minister’s official residence.
However, some top leaders are absent at the meeting while some were not invited.
According to Ram Sharan Bajaghain, communication expert at the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting has just begun.
Oli has called the meeting to discuss contemporary issues with the leaders of parties represented in Parliament including tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, ratification of Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement with the United States from Parliament, and holding by-elections among others.
Chair of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chair of the Janata Samajbadi Party Upendra Yadav and its senior leader and former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai are not at the meeting, according to the sources at Baluwatar.
Janata Samajbadi Party is represented by party chair Mahantha Thakur, senior leader Laxmanlal Karna while Prem Suwal of Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party, Prakash Chandra Lohani of Rastriya Prajatantra Party are representing their parties at the meeting, according to the sources.
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is participating in the meeting. Deuba is accompanied by senior party leader, Ram Chandra Poudel and Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel, according to Deuba’s aide Bhanu Deuba.
Oli on Friday had telephoned Dahal and asked him to come to a meeting in which Deuba would also be present at Baluwatar but Dahal refused to attend a meeting inside the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar and asked him to hold meeting at the Prime Minister Office in Singhadurbar, according to Bishnu Sapkota, Dahal’s press advisor.
“Later we came to know that Oli had called an all-party meeting of which we are not aware,” said Sapkota. “Therefore chairman Dahal is not participating in the meeting.”
Similarly senior ruling party leader, Madhav Kumar Nepal was not informed about the meeting, according to one of his aides.
“Nepal is suspended from the party so he is not invited,” said the aide on condition of anonymity.
Similarly, Chairman of the Janata Samajbadi Party, Upendra Yadav said that he has not received any invitation from Baluwatar to participate at the meeting.
“Despite being the party chair, I was not invited,” said Yadav.
Sources say Oli could discuss House prorogation as well during the meeting.
Oli has been making a pitch for snap polls, saying there is a need to seek people's fresh mandate.
During an all party meeting that President Bidya Devi Bhandari called on March 17 during which Oli was also present and he had talked of snap polls being the best option to end the political deadlock.
Oli had dissolved the House on December 20, much to the chagrin of political parties, constitutional experts and civil society and called for midterm polls. The Supreme Court, however, on February 23 overturned Oli’s decision and restored the House, asking authorities to convene its meeting within 13 days.
But the House has since been almost dysfunctional since it was convened on March 7 .