Oli counters Dahal’s proposal with 38-page rebuttal

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli presented a 38-page long rebuttal to party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 19- page proposal during Nepal Communist Party’s (NCP) secretariat meeting yesterday, saying that Dahal’s proposal was a compilation of ‘personal dissatisfactions, endless grudges and selfish agenda’.

Oli accused Dahal of hatching plot to dislodge his government, applying double standard on the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement, promoting factionalism within party, not denouncing the Netra Bikram Chand-led group’s violent activities, ditching coalition partner Nepali Congress and sending people to tear ballots to ensure his daughter’s victory at the local level election.

Oli has also accused Dahal of turning party’s internal disagreements into enmity, thereby pushing the communist movement towards a grave crisis.

Oli stated that although Dahal’s proposal did not hold any legal and political status, he deemed it necessary to counter the proposal as leaving such serious and misleading allegations unanswered would harm the communist movement, the country and the people.

Party rules mandated that a proposal could be prepared only on the basis of consultation with the party co-chair and general secretary but Dahal had presented the proposal without consulting him and the general secretary, Oli argued.

NCP, born out of a merger between Oli’s former CPN-UML and Dahal’s former CPN (Maoist Centre) in May 2018, has yet to conclude the party unification process. Over the last two years, it has faced a crisis so deep that that it has repeatedly been quite close to implosion.

Oli said as Dahal had levelled criminal allegations he should prove them and take action against him as per the law and party statute if those allegations are proved valid or else Dahal should take responsibility for making false allegations.

Oli accused Dahal of resorting to the ‘shameful act’ of tearing ballot papers to ensure the electoral victory of his daughter Renu Dahal who was contesting for the post of Chitwan mayor during the 2017 local elections.

He said unity between the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC happened after Dahal had reached a stage where he could forge alliance with the Nepali Congress and eventually dissolve his party or look for a new political possibility.

“Today you are trying to make your own party lawmakers sign a no-trust motion petition that you want to register against your own government,” Oli said.

Oli said that Dahal had revealed during his India visit about the agreement between the party’s two co-chairs to become prime minister turn wise during the five-year term. “Doesn’t this undermine national independence, interest and stability? You have entangled issues with the friendly country and assured them that you will resolve those issues after you come to power. Now you are talking about majority and minority in the party bodies. If that is the case, then let’s change the basis of party unity.”

“Are you ready to elect the party leadership from the General Convention on the basis of competition? I am ready. In all party bodies, former CPN- UML leaders and cadres are in majority. What will happen if I decide to use that majority against you?” Oli has asked in his letter.

“Why are attempts being made to change the leadership when a new leadership is going to be elected through the General Convention in four months?” he wondered.

He said the government had launched many pro-poor schemes and it was wrong to term it neo-liberalist. Oli also said the government’s policies were socialism-oriented, hence benefits of socialist government should not be sought now. He said land owned by Nepal Trust was being leased out to increase government revenue.

He asked Dahal why he was objecting to the leasing of Nepal Trust land. “Are you objecting to it just because the interests of any businessperson close to you has not been fulfilled?” he questioned.

Responding to Dahal’s allegation about the Millennium Challenge Coroporation project, Oli said the project was signed with the US when Dahal was prime minister. “How can the person who signed the project be a nationalist and the person who thinks the project signed on behalf of Nepal should be implemented be against national interest?” Oli questioned.

Oli asked Dahal to make his stance on MCC clear or else cheap politics on issues linked with the country’s credibility could cost the country dearly.

He said he was making honest efforts to bring issues related to transitional justice to a conclusion. “You had said you would take responsibility for the murder of 5,000 people. What does this mean? Such statements could complicate the matter further. Don’t make the mistake of taking the issue lightly,” he warned.

He also wondered why Dahal had not condemned the violence of the Netra Bikram Chand-led group and added he would not tolerate violence in the name of anything. He also said Dahal had not been condemning extreme thinking linked with caste and regions.

Dahal is a step ahead of the opponent in unseating his own party government.

Oli urged the party to rescind Dahal’s document and return to the consensus reached in the party’s Standing Committee on September 11. The Standing Committee had decided on September 11 that the PM would have a free hand in governance and Dahal would work as executive chair of the party.

Towards the end of his rebuttal, Oli, however, has called on his fellow comrades to work to protect the party unity, leaving room for reconciliation.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said Oli’s rebuttal was a positive step which would help the party discuss issues in a comprehensive manner.