Oli-Dahal ‘one-on-one’ meeting ends on ‘positive note’

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KATHMANDU, July 6: The two chairmen of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal met on Monday as well in an attempt to minimize their differences amid the intense intra-party rift in the party.

According to sources, their meeting ended on a ‘positive note’. However, the details about the “consensus” reached between them is yet to be disclosed.

In an apparent bid to provide ample time for the chairmen duo, the Standing Committee meeting scheduled for Monday has been postponed for the second time. Now the crucial Standing Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday.

The two chairmen have held a series of talks amid the heightened row in the party after Prime Minister Oli on last Sunday made an allegation that forces within Nepal and India were trying to oust him from power in an apparent bid to take revenge against his ‘bold decision’ to issue the country’s new political map that includes Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura forcefully held by India for decades.

Although the chairmen duo held a two-hour meeting on Friday, they could not forge any consensus. Prime Minister Oli has maintained that he is ready to hold talks on all issues except his resignation from the posts of prime minister and party chairman. As many as 30 members of the party’s Standing Committee have, however, demanded that Prime Minister Oli step down from both posts.

They also had an hour-long meeting on Sunday afternoon. Although they could not reach a conclusion, they agreed to sit again for talks to minimize their differences before the Standing Committee meeting which was earlier scheduled for Monday.

Before meeting Oli on Sunday, the top leaders of the rival factions held a meeting with President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Chairman Dahal and senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal reached the President’s official residence at Sheetal Niwas to apprise President Bhandari of the intra-party political development.

Refuting Prime Minister Oli’s claim that conspiracies were being hatched by the rival faction leaders also to oust the president from power, the leaders said that they did not have such plans and that it was just a rumor. They also urged President Bhandari not to endorse the ‘wrong moves’ taken by the government amid speculation that Prime Minister Oli is introducing an ordinance to split the party.

While urging President Bhandari not to approve any ‘wrong move’ if taken by PM Oli, the leaders also made a reference to Prime Minister Oli’s “plan to introduce an ordinance that makes it easier to split the NCP.”

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