New Delhi/Kathmandu, July 16 (IANS) The intervention of China in Kathmandu’s internal politics and Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s hostility towards India has left the top leadership in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) at loggerheads with each other, as their talks failed to resolve their differences for the eighth time on Thursday.
Nepali media said that senior leaders of NCP, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Oli made no headway in their meeting at the PM’s residence in Baluwatar on Thursday.
The concerns about China’s interference in Nepal’s internal affairs erupted when it became public that the Ambassador of China to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, has held several meetings with former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, another NCP leader Jhala Nath Khanal and many other senior leaders in the party.
The meetings triggered speculation that China is exerting its influence over Nepal’s ruling party and its internal politics.
Newspapers in Kathmandu reported that in June, Dahal and Nepal, along with the standing committee members, had asked Oli to quit one of the two posts that he holds — Prime Minister and the party chair. However, the PM had refused outright.
Analysts in Kathmandu believe that these differences along with Oli’s unrestrained bitterness against India have brought the NCP at the verge of a split.
In an offensive remark, Oli on Monday had said that Hindu lord Ram was born in Nepal and not in Ayodhya. He called the Ayodhya origin of Ram 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.
In Nepal, opposition Nepali Congress spokesperson Bishwo Prakash Sharma had said on Wednesday that Oli has “lost the moral and political basis” to rule the country. Vice-president of the Nepali Congress, Bimalendra Nidhi, termed Oli’s remark as “baseless, irrelevant and objectionable”.
Oli is also facing strong opposition from his own party leaders. Senior leader of the ruling NCP, Bam Dev Gautam, has asked Oli to withdraw his controversial remarks, according to media reports from Kathmandu.
Deputy chief of the Publicity Committee of the ruling party, Bishnu Rijal, said in a strong reaction against Oli, “Such senseless and irrelevant remarks made by a person of high position will damage the country’s prestige.” The members of the NCP are asking for Oli’s resignation over his autocratic style.