Two days after Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli claimed that India was trying to topple his government with support from some politicians at home, party leaders, including three former prime ministers, Tuesday asked him to prove his allegations or quit.
Speaking at a closed-door standing committee meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalnath Khanal, as well as former deputy PM Bamdeb Gautam, demanded that Oli resign, having failed on every count.
Prachanda said at the outset that Oli’s allegation against India was wrong. “Not India, it is me who is demanding your resignation. You must furnish proof of such irresponsible remarks,” Dahal is believed to have said.
According to a member of the standing committee, Khanal, Madhav Nepal and Gautam accused Oli of being insensitive and irresponsible in his remarks against a friendly country.
Trying to defend his allegations, the PM shot back, “How come accounts of a confidential meeting are getting reported verbatim in the Indian media?”
Speaking at a function at his official residence on Sunday, Oli had said India was out to bring down his government in collaboration with some Nepali leaders, and that the content in certain Indian media as well as activities of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu proved this.
Meanwhile, in an interview to the Nepal government-owned The Rising Nepal published on Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi criticised remarks made by Indian Army Chief Gen M M Naravane that the anti-India protests in Nepal over border issues might be “at the behest of China”.
Without mentioning Naravane by name, Hou said, “Any so-called ‘Nepal at the behest of China’ accusation is baseless and comes with ulterior motives… Such accusations are not only an insult to the will of the independent country of Nepal and the consensus of the Nepali people , but are also endeavours directed at the disruption of China-Nepal relations.”
Gautam, who was the most strident in his criticism of Oli at the party meeting, demanded that he resign both as PM and party chief.
Oli has come under criticism outside the party forum as well. Former PM Baburam Bhattarai, holding a rally, said Oli must furnish proof to substantiate his allegations against India. “If the Embassy of India is so actively engaged in toppling him, why don’t you expel their Ambassador?” he asked.
Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani, co-chairman of the pro-monarchy Rastriya Prajatantra Party and a former foreign affairs minister, said, “Oli will not require anyone to oust him. He is in a hurry to oust himself.”
Rabindra Mishra, who heads the Sajha Party, said Oli needed “psycho-social counseling”.
In her interview, Ambassador Hou said the support to the Oli government by all parties over the dispute regarding border areas with India showed that public opinion was on his side over safeguarding Nepal’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
She added, “I would like to reiterate that the Chinese side has always respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nepali side. The issue of Kalapani involves Nepal and India. We hope the two countries will resolve their differences properly through friendly consultations and refrain from taking any unilateral action that may complicate the situation. China’s position on this issue has not changed.”
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