China’s intervention in Kathmandu’s internal politics and the hostilities of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli to India has left the leadership of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in the lurch with each other, as their talks failed to resolve their differences for the 8th time on Thursday.
Nepali media reported, that senior NCP leaders, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Oli did not make any headway in their meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar on Thursday.
Concerns about China’s interference in Nepal’s internal affairs erupted when it became public that China’s Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, had several meetings with former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, another NCP leader, Jhala Nath Khanal, and many other senior party leaders.
The meetings sparked speculation that China is exerting its influence on Nepal’s ruling party and its internal politics.
Kathmandu print media reported that in June, Dahal and Nepal, along with members of the standing committee, had asked Oli to quit one of the two posts he holds as prime minister and as party chair. However, the PM had refused to do so.
Analysts in Kathmandu believe that these differences, along with Oli’s unbridled bitterness to India, have brought the NCP to the brink of a split. In an offensive remark, Oli said on Monday that Hindu Lord Ram was born in Nepal and not in Ayodhya. He called the origin of Ram Ayodhya a ‘fake’ Indian narrative.
The statement evoked widespread outrage in India, with even the opposition members condemning Oli’s remark.
Former Congress MP Karan Singh said in a statement that Oli was “trying to do whatever he could, even going to the extent of an absurd statement regarding Ayodhya and Sri Ram, to widen the distance between India and Nepal”.
“This outrageous statement will hurt the sentiments of a billion Hindus living not only in India and Nepal, but around the world. The statement could have been dismissed as the gymnastics of a distorted mind, except that it comes fast on the heels of Oli’s unfortunate unilateral action regarding a territorial dispute with India,” Singh said.
Opposition leader of the Nepalese Congress, Bishwo Prakash Sharma, said Wednesday that Oli had “lost the moral and political basis” to rule the country.
The Vice-President of the Nepalese Congress, Bimalendra Nidhi, described Oli’s comment as “baseless, irrelevant and objectionable.”
Oli also faces strong opposition from his own party leaders. The NCP’s senior leader, Bam Dev Gautam, has asked Oli to withdraw his controversial remarks, according to Kathmandu media reports.
The Deputy Chief of the Publicity Committee of the ruling party, Bishnu Rijal, said in a strong reaction against Oli, “Those senseless and irrelevant remarks made by a high-ranking person will damage the prestige of the country.” Members of the NCP are calling for Oli’s resignation from his autocratic style.