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Nepal PM Oli softens stance, but pressure to quit mounts

Leelamani Pokhrel, a member of the Nepal Communist Party standing committee, echoed the other leaders, telling Oli: “Your allegation that India was plotting to topple you did not behove the stature of the position that you hold. You must furnish proof or quit.”

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Updated: July 2, 2020 12:26:30 pm
Nepal, Nepal news, KP Sharma Oli, KP Oli, Nepal PM, Nepal India relations, Nepal Communist Party, Indian Express Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli. (File Photo)

Under fire for his remarks against India and told by the ruling Nepal Communist Party to prove his charges or resign, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli initiated conciliatory moves on Wednesday, but the chorus against him continued to grow.

Leelamani Pokhrel, a member of the Nepal Communist Party standing committee, echoed the other leaders, telling Oli: “Your allegation that India was plotting to topple you did not behove the stature of the position that you hold. You must furnish proof or quit.”

Matrika Yadav, also a standing committee member, said Oli should quit the post immediately as he acted more like a “gang leader than that of the party”.

On Wednesday, Oli invited some of his cabinet colleagues, loyalists and a few party leaders before the committee meeting began. “Oli was mild in his expression and looked worried. He asked us to defend him in national interest,” said one of the leaders invited.

In the informal meeting, some members advised him to hand over the Prime Minister’s post to Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda for the remaining half of the tenure as per the understanding reached between them 28 months ago.

A group of leaders, including Civil Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai and Agriculture Minister Ghanshyam Bhusal, offered to step down. Bhusal made it clear that he was not happy with the Prime Minister’s way of functioning. “If you become stronger, democracy will get weaker, but if you get weaker, it will have a direct fallout on nationalism,” he said, implying that while he opposed Oli’s way of functioning, he supported the Prime Minister on the decision to amend the Constitution to include Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, areas on Indian maps, in the new map of Nepal.

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