Preparations by Oli, Dahal-Nepal prior to Secretariat meet today

5 December 2020, Kathmandu

The Secretariat meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is taking place at Baluwatar at 1 pm today (Saturday).

Leaders of Oli faction on Friday intensified internal meetings after Dahal-Nepal faction geared up for making Saturday’s meeting decisive.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is not likely to take part in the Secretariat meeting scheduled for this afternoon.

It has, however, been a hard nut to crack for Oli faction to stop the step to be taken by the Dahal-Nepal faction as it commands majority in both the Secretariat Committee and Standing Committee of the party.

Even if Oli did not turn up in today’s meeting, Dahal-Nepal faction might take the agendas to Standing Committee meeting scheduled for Sunday.

Since Oli and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa abstained from the Secretariat meeting on Wednesday, the meeting was called for today urging the Prime Minister to compulsorily attend the meeting.

Even until late Friday evening it was not certain whether Oli will attend Saturday’s meeting or not, according to a Secretariat member. But, it is difficult for Oli to present the valid reason for abstaining from the meeting for this time.

On the other hand, Dahal-Nepal faction is in a mood to continue with the meeting today even without Oli and take the proposals forward.

“The Secretariat meeting will be held even without the presence of Prime Minister Oli,” said a Standing Committee member, adding, “If he asked for some more time, the Secretariat meeting will be scheduled in between two the Standing Committee meetings in the days ahead.”

The efforts will be made to strike consensus during the gap between these two meetings, he further said.

The majority of Secretariat members are of the view that the meeting should not be confined to the state of indecision.

Both heavyweights Prime Minister Oli and NCP Executive Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have not budged an inch from their respective stances.

Second-rung leaders intensified their efforts to narrow down the differences by postponing the meeting for two days, however, with no agreement in sight.

Due to the stances of Oli and Dahal, the informal meetings on Friday did not strike any chords. The intra-party dispute of the ruling NCP has taken a new height after Oli and Dahal-Nepal factions came up with separate political dossiers levelling serious accusations against each other, of late.

The meeting held at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar on December 2 was postponed around 20 minutes after it started.

Five members of the Secretariat — NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, Vice President Bam Dev Gautam, and party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha — had met and discussed issues at the residence of NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Khumaltar.

Earlier in the Secretariat meetign held on Tuesday, Prime Minister Oli, who is also the chairman of the NCP, had demanded postponement of the Secretariat meeting for 10 days.

Oli had bought the time to narrow down differences through informal meetings and dialogues before holding the meeting.

Secretariat members, however, took strong exception to Oli’s demand arguing that there is no reason to stall the meeting. Oli then had said he would not be present in Wednesday’s meeting, according to a Secretariat member.

Oli and Executive Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda got involved in heated discussions during a Secretariat meeting held on last Tuesday.

In recent months, the ruling NCP has witnessed an intra-party dispute over the appointment of ambassadors, a Cabinet reshuffle, a dispute in Karnali Province, a vendetta among party cadres in Tarai districts, RAW Chief’s meeting with PM Oli.

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