Top leaders of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) have started a war of words. Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has called senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal’s pummeling of the government in the parliament and criticism of the party’s operation on the meeting of standing committee members expression of frustrations.
Speaking on the last day of the budget session of the House of Representatives (HoR) on Thursday, Nepal commented that the country is on the verge of being drowned. He listed the debacles of the government from lack of progress in rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, to promotion of persons known to the whole world as corrupt, failure to repair the roads among others.
He convened a meeting of standing committee members the very next day and expressed displeasure over appointment of provincial chiefs and chairmen while he was abroad.
PM Oli, who is in America for the UN General Assembly, has responded to Nepal’s comments from abroad. In an interview given to a YouTube channel there, Oli has stated that Nepal has expressed frustrations without taking the latter’s name just like Nepal criticized the government in the parliament without taking Oli’s name.
“Some frustrations may have been expressed. I have come to the UN for a few days. I have heard a few leaders make a clarion call saying that the country is drowning. I will return home soon. That is not a big problem,” Oli commented.
Second rung leaders of both the factions have also joined in the war and are now sparring on the social media. “Downfall of people starts when they start to consult with others to bring one’s own down,” Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal, who is accompanying PM Oli in the foreign visit, tweeted hinting at the meeting of standing committee members convened by Nepal.
“From the peak of power and government others appear to have fallen from grace. Pity the colored lenses,” Standing committee member Yogesh Bhattarai, from the Nepal camp, hit back on Twitter.
A CPN standing committee member complained that accusations have started immediately after raising questions about system in the party. “We have pointed at the lack of system. Leaders have got down to personal level,” the member stated. The member claimed that Nepal spoke only after standing committee members urged him to comment on operation of the government and party.
Standing committee member Ghanashyam Bhusal, who has been critical of the leadership, opined that the recent developments have raised questions about relevance of the secretariat. “The current secretariat came into being on its own like the Swoyambhu. This is not an official party body for decision-making. It has to oversee the implementation of decisions taken by the standing committee on a daily basis as the standing committee meeting cannot be convened daily,” Bhusal elaborated.
He pointed that the nine-member secretariat and general secretary were created suddenly at the time of unification. “Secretariat was formed at a time when the unified party had to be registered at the Election Commission. We would have been termed anti-unificationist if we had protested then,” he confided.
He argued that additional questions have been raised about relevance of the secretariat after Nepal raised questions. “We were presuming that the secretariat has started to do all the works. But we knew that the decisions are not discussed even in the secretariat after secretariat members also started to protest. We have now known that decisions are taken in the name of secretariat,” he added.
The secretariat meeting of the party had appointed provincial chiefs and chairmen on September 21 when Nepal was in Ghana to attend a conference. Nepali is miffed that Oli did not keep his word of not taking any decision while he was abroad.
Secretariat member Narayan Kaji Shrestha is also not happy and has already expressed displeasure saying the secretariat is taking the decisions about organizational unification and division of responsibilities even though such decisions have to be taken by the standing committee.
The standing committee has met only once on July 5 after party unification on May 17. That meeting only discussed about regulations.