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Prachanda meets President amid rift in ruling NCP in Nepal

Amid a rift in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), its executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ”Prachanda” met President Bidya Devi Bhandari, hours after she prorogued the budget session of Parliament at the recommendation of the Cabinet on Thursday.

President Bhandari, who is a former leader of the NCP, is said to have enquired about the latest rift within the ruling party, My Republica reported.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli met President Bhandari and requested her to prorogue the budget session. Prior to this, a Cabinet meeting recommended to the president to prorogue the sessions of both lower and upper houses, the paper said.

According to prime minister”s media aide Ramsharan Bajgain, the prime minister held separate consultations with NCP Chairperson Prachanda and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba earlier Thursday with regard to proroguing the budget session of parliament.

Meanwhile, a Standing Committee meeting of the NCP, which took place briefly on Thursday, has been put off until Friday as the top brass of the party failed to forge consensus on the resignation of Prime Minister Oli.

Top NCP leaders on Tuesday demanded Prime Minister Oli”s resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.”

“The Prime Minister”s remarks that India was conspiring to remove him was neither politically correct, nor diplomatically appropriate,” Prachanda said.

Prime Minister Oli, 68, on Sunday claimed that there have been various kinds of activities in the “embassies and hotels” to remove him from power. He said some Nepalese leaders were also involved in the game.

Accusing the southern neighbour and leaders of his own party by the Prime Minister was not appropriate, a senior leader of the party quoted Prachanda as saying during the Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Prachanda has time and again spoken about the lack of coordination between the government and the party and he was pressing for a one-man one position system to be followed by the NCP.

In July 2016, Oli had resigned as prime minister just before a no-confidence vote after the Maoists withdrew support from the coalition government. At the time, he had termed the no-trust motion as a conspiracy by “foreign elements” to turn the country into a “laboratory” and obstruct the implementation of the new Constitution.

Earlier in April this year, Oli was asked to resign from the post.

Prime Minister Oli was facing strong criticism from his own colleagues for the government”s non-performance and lack of coordination between the party and the government. They were alleging Oli of running the government as per his whim without consulting with the party.

Oli last week skipped the first and the second day of the Standing Committee meetings. He, however, attended the third meeting on Saturday, but briefly.

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