The talks between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other top leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) did not make any progress on Thursday as the leaders could not arrive at a power-sharing agreement.
Senior leaders of NCP – Madhav Kumar Nepal and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, had met Prime Minister Oli to discuss the issue of one-man-one-position as Oli continues to hold two positions – Prime Minister of Nepal and the party chair. The talks failed as he refused to relinquish any of the two positions.
The rift in the party has grown over the past few weeks as Oli's popularity has plummeted in the party after he said that his opponents in the NCP were trying to remove him as Prime Minister with India's help. Feeling slighted over these controversial remarks, the other leaders in the NCP have refuted Oli's allegations and said that his remarks are neither "politically correct not diplomatically appropriate."
However, with these remarks, the role of China's interference in Nepal's politics has come into limelight. The Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, has reportedly held several meetings with senior NCP leaders including Dahal, Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal and also Prime Minister Oli. Nepal media has said that the Chinese ambassador has been making efforts to save Oli's position.
Earlier this week, Oli made another controversial remark that Hindu God Ram was born in Nepal and not in Ayodhya, India. He said that the Ayodhya origin of Ram was a fake Indian narrative. This statement evoked outrage in India, with even the opposition members condemning Oli's remark. Former Congress MP Karan Singh said: "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.
The Nepali opposition too is critical of their Prime Minister. 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 on Lord Ram as "baseless, irrelevant and objectionable".
It is not just the political parties in Nepal which have turned against Oli, even people have been protesting on various issues. The Madhesis have been protesting over citizenship issues while students have been protesting against poor management of coronavirus by the government..