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Nepal: Feuding NCP Leaders Try to get India Involved:

Paper No. 6734                   Dated 16-Jan-2021
By Dr.  S. Chandrasekharan
 
With the imminent split in the Ruling NCP and with the Prime Minister Oli getting the Lower House dissolved, India had taken a principled stand that it was an internal matter of Nepal and that it has nothing to do with that.  Yet both the feuding groups within the Nepal Communist Party are trying to get India involved in some way other.  This is strange, but true!
 
It was in the beginning of last year 2020, when the internal differences between the two factions of the Nepal Communist Party came to the fore, Oli made a strange accusation that some leaders of his party were teaming up with India to topple him from his post.  He specifically mentioned that the officials in the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu were actively promoting this effort.
 
Now the boot is on the other leg.  In a public meeting, P.K. Dahal (Prachanda), the leader of the rival faction within the NCP accused Oli of splitting the Party and dissolving the Parliament at India’s directions!  He again repeated the incident of the Indian Foreign Intelligence Chief meeting PM Oli on ‘one to one’ basis and still no information was made available to other members of the Party as what transpired!  Dahal went further and accused Oli of taking wrong advice from “external forces.”  Dahal did not specifically identify the “foreign forces,” but in the context of what he said, he meant India.  
 
Thus, Dahal for the present appears to have burnt his boats with India.  It may be recalled that before the internal differences within the Party (NCP) Dahal visited Delhi and the first individual he met was the National Security Adviser of India!  I recall that at that point of time, other senior 
 Leaders of the Party objected to Dahal’s Visit and the meetings which he did without the Party’s prior permission.
 
But I found it amazing were the two interviews Oli gave to two Indian Channels, one in English in the Gravitas and another under Hindi Programme in the Zee TV.  Though Oli is not fluent in English as in Hindi he managed to explain away all the offensive utterances he made against India and it looked as if Oli went out of the way to please India while at the same time not antagonising China altogether. Oli did not give any interview to any other Indian channel so far.  It is not clear whether the initiative to have a detailed interview was at the behest of the news channel or from his side.
 
In the interviews
 
1.  Oli showed supreme confidence in dealing with tough questions and with a straight face explained away all the abuses he had heaped on India in the past. 
 
2.  He stuck to Nepal’s position on the border disputes with India and showed that he is still a nationalist!
 
3.  He said that the relations with India have been “very good.”
 
4.  He denied having said that Indian embassy was involved in trying to topple him.  He meant that  only some Indian quarters and elements and not the Embassay officials!
 
5.  He explained away his statement that the Indian Virus is more lethal than the Chinese one, saying that the border between India and Nepal being open there is more access and chances of spread of the Virus from India and nothing more.
 
6.  On relations with China he said that he takes independent decisions.
 
In all according to Dr. Lok Raj Beral, former Ambassador Oli obliquely conveyed to India that most of Nepal’s engagements are with India due to close geographical, civilisational and cultural relations.  
 
In other words, he gave the impression that  he is now willing to do business with India. One other Commentator explained that the Indian media had come to the rescue of Oli for eventual rehabilitation!
 
I am sure the Indian officials are aware of the nature of the political leaders of Nepal and particularly those from the now merged Nepal Communist Party! They were never friendly unless it suited them.  
 
In the cases filed in the Supreme Court on the legality of the dissolution, the Apex Court rejected the petition seeking an “Extended Full” Bench and the Court will meet daily to hear the case.  
 
In what was considered as an inconsistent move, it is revealed that Oli did not reveal in the petition that he had recommended dissolution under Articles 76(1), (7) and 1 of 85 of the Constitution and was later on added!
 
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