Options seem to be running out for Nepal prime minister KP Sharma Oli with the high powered nine-member secretariat of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) scheduled to meet on Saturday in Kathmandu to decide the political future of the country.
The meeting will be held at 3pm in Baluwatar.
According to political sources based in Nepal, Oli appeared to have softened his past hard stance in his meeting with NCP co-chair PK Dahal on Friday morning but that could be part of the political tactics to buy time for himself to remain both the head of government as well as the party.
In case the secretariat is not deferred on Saturday on grounds of Oli’s indisposition, the apex body may decide to hold the standing committee meeting on Sunday to take a decision on whether he remains either the prime minister or NCP co-chair or even lose both the posts for single-handedly playing into the hands of China and destroying bilateral relations with India.
While PM Oli has not uttered a word against the Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing, he has made all sorts of wild statements against New Delhi including that origins of coronavirus pandemic were from India and that Lord Ram was born in Nepal.
Apart from laying territorial claims on India-Nepal border, Oli has used all tactics in the book to paint anyone opposed to him politically as an agent of India. This despite the fact that the Chinese ambassador to Nepal seems to be the master puppeteer of the Himalayan kingdom.
The political situation in Nepal seems to be fluid as none of the three principal contenders—Oli, Dahal or Madhav Nepal—want to be seen as the breakers of the NCP’s unity. This works to the advantage of Oli as this ensures that neither Dahal nor Nepal will precipitate the matters and hence the change in the power structure of Nepal will be slow.
However, as numbers count in political parties more than words or slogans, Oli is a minority in the secretariat, standing committee and the central committee as of now.
It is widely expected that the secretariat will make a decision on Oli’s continuation as the prime minister or co-chair of the NCP or both but the final decision will come through elaborate party processes.
The China model of Nepal is that the NCP remains united and individuals can be dealt with pelf and power at a later stage. The Indian model for Nepal is the people-to-people relationship with a working relationship with whosoever is in power.
Oli has done his best to break the working relationship.