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Nepal Communist Party's Prachanda Says Efforts on to Resolve Feud, Rules out Early General Convention

File photo of former Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'. (REUTERS)

File photo of former Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'. (REUTERS)

The former prime minister made the remarks during his meeting with the Standing Committee members representing the former Maoist party. As many as 15 members from the 45-member powerful Standing Committee of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) attended the meeting, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Nepal's ruling communist party executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' on Monday said efforts were going on to resolve the intra-party differences and ruled out an early general convention of the party as proposed by embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.

The former prime minister made the remarks during his meeting with the Standing Committee members representing the former Maoist party. As many as 15 members from the 45-member powerful Standing Committee of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) attended the meeting, the Kathmandu Post reported.

The meeting came on the eve of the conclave of the Standing Committee, which has been deferred seven times since June 24.

On Saturday, 68-year-old Oli proposed to convene an early general convention of the party in order to resolve the intra-party rift.

"Going for the general convention is not a bad idea but without proper preparations, it is not possible as various issues including the party ideology also need to be sorted out," Matrika Yadav, a Standing Committee member, quoted Prachanda as saying at the meeting.

Prachanda's remarks came amid reports that he had reached an understanding with Prime Minister Oli on holding the general convention by November/December and that Oli would back him as the party chair.

The Prachanda-led faction, backed by senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, until a few weeks ago had piled pressure on Oli to step down both as party chair and prime minister.

The Madhav Nepal group on Sunday sought clarification from Prachanda if he had reached a deal with Oli on an early general convention and if he indeed had, why he did so without consulting his allies, the paper said.

During Monday's meeting, Prachanda briefed his colleagues about the talks he had held with his co-chair, Prime Minister Oli and the secretariat of the chairmen-duo, the leaders of the former Maoist party said.

Citing sources, the Rising Nepal daily said that Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal' and Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Lekh Raj Bhatta were not present during the meeting held by Prachanda.

"I am not fighting for any position. I just want to run the party through proper procedures and system," Prachanda said during the meeting, according to a senior leader of the party.

Chief Whip of the ruling party and Standing Committee member Dev Gurung said that briefing of the series of meetings held between the Chairmen were done in Monday's interaction.

"We recommended Chairman Prachanda to keep the party's unity intact by keeping up with the efforts put by the Chairmen to reach a consensus in a positive way," said Gurung.

"Although some differences are seen within the party, efforts are being made to reach a consensus," said Gurung. "Chairman Prachanda is working for the betterment of the nation and citizens."

Prachanda also assured the party leaders that he was for moving forward by resolving the problems within the party. He said efforts were going on to resolve the intra-party feud.

The party on Sunday deferred the crucial meeting of its Standing Committee for the seventh time as the top leaders intensified efforts to negotiate a power-sharing deal between Oli and Prachanda.

The Standing Committee's meeting was first called for June 24 after Prime Minister Oli alleged that some of the party leaders are aligning with the southern neighbour to remove him from power after his government issued a new political map incorporating three Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura.

The Prachanda-led faction rejected the allegations, saying it is them who have asked for resignation, not India. They asked Prime Minister Oli to show evidence to support his allegation.

Top NCP leaders, including 'Prachanda', have been demanding Prime Minister Oli's resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were "neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate." They are also against Oli's autocratic style of functioning.

Oli and Prachanda have held at least eight meetings in recent weeks to sort out the differences between them. But, as the Prime Minister did not accept the condition of a one-man-one-post, the talks failed, party sources said.

As the Prachanda-led faction has demanded the Central Working Committee meeting to put pressure on Oli to step down, the Prime Minister proposed holding a general convention in November.

During the informal meeting held at Prachanda's residence on Sunday morning, senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam rejected the idea of convening general convention, saying that it will not be possible to hold the general convention at this time of national crisis.

The differences between the two factions, one led by Oli and the other led by Prachanda, on the issue of power-sharing, intensified after the prime minister unilaterally decided to prorogue the budget session of Parliament.

Prachanda was made the executive chairman of the NCP in November last year under a deal between him and Oli. But the former prime minister was rarely given a chance to lead the party on his own, which some leaders say is one of the reasons he decided to form his own faction against Oli.


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