A day after its government ensured the enactment of a Bill to incorporate three territories with India in the new map and emblem of the country, the ruling Nepal Communist Party was a divided house Friday with top leaders questioning moves to align with the Communist Party of China at a time when ties with India are under strain, and Indian and Chinese troops have clashed in Ladakh.
Former Prime Ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal — he also heads the party’s international division — and Jhalanath Khanal stayed away from a four-hour videoconference attended by senior members of the international division of the Communist Party of China, CPC Tibet Autonomous Region and Nepal Communist Party’s school division headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel.
While NCP co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and some 30 central leaders were told to be present at the party office in Kathmandu, 70 delegates from the provinces were seated at designated places in the Capital.
One of the delegates said the discussion was over issues related to governance and corruption.
Bishnu Rizal, deputy head of the NCP international division, said: “We had no information that such a conference was taking place in such a hurry.”
Another senior leader of the party said “it is highly objectionable that the party is co-hosting Chinese counterparts at a time Nepal-India relations are at a low over the border dispute and constitutional amendment. Moreover, India and China are going through heightened tensions and there have been clashes between the two armies.”
“Going to the lap of China just because we have a problem with the Government of India at the moment is neither wise, nor our party’s policy,” the leader said.
It is leant that former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha has also questioned the timing of the videoconference, the intent and secrecy around it.
“Just because we have some differences at the moment with India over the border issue, such a videoconference with China on issues like governance and corruption shows bankruptcy of mind and insensitivity on the part of the organisers,” a senior leader said.
Soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal last October, the CPC and NCP agreed to set up institutional relations at the party level to educate and train members on issues within the framework of ‘Xi’s vision’.
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