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International News
NCP''s meeting to decide PM''s future deferred again as Oli holds talks with Prachanda
 
Kathmandu: Nepal''s embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Monday held another round of talks with the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda'' to sort out their differences as the party''s crucial Standing Committee meeting was once again postponed till Wednesday, in a bid to provide them more time to agree on a power-sharing deal. The meeting of the ruling party''s 45-member powerful Standing Committee was scheduled to be held on Monday. But it was postponed at the last minute. The political future of 68-year-old Oil will now be decided on Wednesday during the Standing Committee meeting.

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 on Thursday. The Prachanda faction, backed by senior leaders and former prime ministers Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, has been demanding Oli''s resignation. On Monday, Oli and Prachanda held another round of talks to sort out their differences. The two top leaders have held a series of talks in recent days amid the intense intra-party rift over Oli''s style of functioning and anti-India statements.

Their meeting on Monday ended on a "positive note", My Republica newspaper reported, citing sources. The two leaders will again meet on Tuesday. On Sunday, China''s ambassador Hou Yanqi met with the senior leader of the NCP and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, amidst the growing demand for Prime Minister Oli''s resignation. According to a senior NCP leader, Hou met Madhav Nepal at his residence in Koteshwor and they discussed the current situation. The Chinese envoy also called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday, the paper said. This is not the first time that the Chinese ambassador has intervened in Nepal''s internal affairs at a time of crisis.

One-and-a-half months ago, when the NCP''s intra-party feud reached the climax, Hou held separate meetings with President Bhandari, Prime Minister Oli and other senior leaders including Prachanda and Madhav Nepal. Last week, the Standing Committee meeting was postponed twice to allow Oli and Prachanda time to iron out their differences over power-sharing. The Himalayan Times reported that Oli and Prachanda will meet again on Tuesday for another round of talks. The differences in the ruling party have reached its peak, with both the sides sticking to their respective stands. The Prachanda-led faction has asked Oli to resign from both the posts of the Prime Minister as well as the party chairman, while Oli is not ready to quit any of the two key posts.

With Oli being cornered within the party, he met main Opposition Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba on Sunday in a bid to seek his backing to save his government in case the party splits. Earlier, on Saturday, Oli met President Bhandari and held consultations. There has been a demand from the party''s senior leaders and cadres to adhere to the principle of one-man one post in the party since the unification process between CPN-UML and Maoist Centre started two years ago, said Ganesh Shah, the Standing Committee member. If Oli sacrifices one of the two executive posts, a solution to the present crisis could be found, he said. There is a need to operate the party in adherence to the statute, and meetings of the Central Secretariat, Standing Committee and Central Committee should be held on a regular basis to run the party smoothly and not to allow any misunderstanding, he said.

There has been turmoil in the NCP for the past few months, but Oli tried to divert the attention of the dissident group by giving a nationalist slogan and updating the Nepalese map incorporating three strategically key Indian territories - Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura -- which served as means to pacify the internal tussle for some time. However, the turmoil again surfaced since last week, after Oli accused the dissident groups led by Prachanda of hatching a conspiracy to remove him with the help of the southern neighbour. Now Oli has become a victim of the trap he himself has laid, according to the political observers here.


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