Was there a gentlemen’s agreement between Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister K P Oli exactly a month ago? The two gentlemen are now making conflicting claims about it.
Dahal has made a total turn around, given up on his move to head the new government with the support of main opposition Nepali Congress and instead has continued his party’s support to the current coalition led by Oli following an understanding between the two that Oli would pave the way for Dahal after the budget is passed in the House.
With the Budget already presented before the House, the Maoists have stepped up their demand for a change of leadership but to their disappointment , Prime Minister Oli today said there was no such thing as ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between the two.
The two had signed a 9-point deal on April 29 that extracted Oli’s pledge that the government would withdraw all ‘politically motivated’ cases against Maoist leaders and cadres which implied saying all insurgency time cases of human rights violation cases would be withdrawn against the stand taken by the National Human Rights Commission as well as the verdict of the supreme court.
But Madhav Nepal, Jhalnath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam, three of the seniormost leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) , the party that Oli heads, also apparently got Oli and Dahal to reach understanding that the latter will succeed Oli after the budget was passed.
“Our understanding was to have Dahal as the Prime Minister of a national unity government, not that of a majority government,” Nepal disclosed recently. Oli may be hoping that the slim chances of a National Unity government will keep him firmly in the saddle for some more time but there is already resentment in the governing coalition set-up.
“UML will be the loser if it refuses to make Dahal the Prime Minister,” Maoist leader and agriculture Minister Haribol Gajurel said.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party -Nepal, a coalition partner with 25 members in the House, has already expressed its anger alleging that the Budget presented in the House failed to incorporate some of the suggestions it made, indicating that its support can not be taken for granted.
In the midst of all these developments, UML senior leader and former Prime Minister Madhav Nepal has come out openly against Prime Minister Oli accusing that he of ‘patronising and promoting bad characters in the Party.”
Thus it is quite clear that all is not well with Oli.