KATHMANDU: Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, one of the chairmen of the Communist Party of Nepal (NCP), on Sunday skipped a crucial meeting of the party’s 45-member strong Standing Committee, amid growing internal rift within the ruling party due to factional feud.In a letter sent to the party’s Standing Committee, Oli said that he was unable to attend the meeting, NCP spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said.Shrestha said that the next Standing Committee meeting has been scheduled for December 13.The NCP’s internal dispute which had surfaced after the dissident group leaders, including the party’s executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, demanded Oli’s resignation from both as the party’s chairman and as Nepal’s prime minister after he accused the dissident leaders of conspiring to topple his government.In a 19-page political document presented on November 13 at the party’s Secretariat meeting, Prachanda criticised Oli for failing to properly run both the government and the party. He even accused Oli of corruption.Oli, however, denied the allegations and challenged Prachanda to legally prove the graft charges or apologise.Taking a strong exception to the political document, Oli made it clear that he couldn’t join Sunday’s meeting if the same proposal is presented before the Standing Committee meeting. He also termed the political document presented by Prachanda “allegation paper” directed against him.In the letter, Oli reiterated his stance that Prachanda should unconditionally withdraw his political proposal tabled during the Secretariat meeting.“The Standing Committee meeting should discuss about finalising the pending works relating to the party unification, making preparations for the party’s upcoming general convention and working toward better response to contain the COVID-19 pandemic,” Oli wrote in the letter.Oli also said that the issue of change in party’s leadership should be settled through the first general convention of the unified party which is just four months away.“The ongoing intra-party crisis must be resolved through dialogue and the party should remain united as there is just four months left to hold the first general convention of the party. The question of leadership change in the party can be well settled through the general convention,” he said in the letter.During Sunday’s meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel, who is also one of Secretariat members, read out Oli’s letter to the Standing Committee.
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