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Nepal Ruling Party's Meeting to Decide PM KP Sharma Oli's Future Postponed Till 3 PM

File photo of Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

File photo of Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The Standing Committee meeting of the Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) was scheduled for 11 am but it was postponed to 3 PM at the request of Oli and Prachanda, said Ganesh Shah, a Standing Committee member.

A crucial meeting of Nepal's ruling communist party was deferred by a few hours on Friday to enable last-minute parleys between Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and the rival faction led by former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' over a power-sharing deal, a senior party leader said.

The Standing Committee meeting of the Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) was scheduled for 11 am but it was postponed to 3 PM at the request of Oli and Prachanda, said Ganesh Shah, a Standing Committee member.

Before the meeting, the two leaders will hold informal talks to sort out their differences, he said.

The meeting of the 45-member committee is expected to decide on Prime Minister Oli's future after talks to strike a new power-sharing deal between him and executive chairman of the NCP Prachanda failed to make any headway on Thursday.

Prime Minister and party chairman Oli, Prachanda and former premier Madhav Kumar Nepal held an informal meeting at the PM's official residence at Baluwatar in an effort to end the intra-party strife.

During the meeting, Oli refused to resign or give up his position as chairman of the NCP.

The meeting tried to sort out the differences between Oli and the dissident group. But, as the Prime Minister didn't accept their condition of a one-man-one-post, the talks failed, party sources said.

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.

The differences grew further after Oli said that some of the ruling 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.

The Prachanda-Nepal faction rejected the allegations, saying it is them who have asked for resignation, not India.

They asked Oli to show evidence to support his allegation.

Prachanda has said that he will not allow the party to split and any attempt from anywhere to weaken its unity would hurt the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.

Last Friday, the meeting of the Standing Committee was postponed for a fourth time at the last moment, citing floods and landslides in the country.

The differences between the two factions of the NCP, 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.

first published:July 17, 2020, 13:32 IST