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Nepal's ruling communist party's top decision-making body meets to end Oli-Prachanda infighting


Kathmandu, July 18: Nepal's ruling communist party's top decision-making body met on Saturday to try and end the tussle for power between Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.

The meeting of the nine-member Central Secretariat started at around 3.15 pm at the official residence of the prime minister at Baluwatar, according to Oli's press advisor Surya Thapa.

Nepal PM K P Sharma Oli and former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda

The highest body of the party is expected to discuss the agenda to be presented during Sunday's Standing Committee meeting, which has been postponed five times in recent weeks.

The Standing Committee meeting was postponed until Sunday to give more time to Oli and the rival faction led by Prachanda, the executive chairman of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to have more talks to end the intra-party infighting.

Prime Minister Oli, Prachanda, senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal among others are participating in the Central Secretariat meeting.

The meeting will also discuss ways to settle the current dispute surfacing in the party's leadership.

The NCP called a secretariat meeting after the two top leaders agreed to call a conclave of the highest body of the party ahead of the 45-member Standing Committee meeting on Sunday in a bid to strike a power-sharing deal by sorting out their differences.

Nepal ruling party's meeting to decide PM Oli's future postponed for fifth time until Sunday

During previous meetings, Oli has refused to resign or give up his position as chairman of the NCP as demanded by the faction led by Prachanda.

Sunday's Standing Committee meeting is expected to fix the date for the CWC meeting, which will ultimately decide the future of Prime Minister Oli, Ganesh Shah, a Standing Committee member, said.

Oli and Prachanda have held at least eight meetings in recent weeks to sort out the differences between them. But, as the Prime Minister did not accept the condition of a one-man-one-post, the talks failed, party sources said.

Top NCP leaders, including 'Prachanda', have been demanding Prime Minister Oli's resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were "neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate." They are also against Oli's autocratic style of functioning.

The differences grew further after Oli alleged that some of the ruling party leaders are aligning with the southern neighbour to remove him from power after his government issued a new political map incorporating three Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura.

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.

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