Even as Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali begins his three-day visit to India on Thursday during which he will attend the Sixth Meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, the chairman of the Nepal Communist Party’s splinter faction, had accused Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of splitting the ruling party and dissolving Parliament at New Delhi’s direction.
Prachanda said that Oli had in the recent past accused that “some leaders of NCP were hatching a conspiracy to topple his government at the behest of India.” The claim comes as a surprise given that Oli has been making anti-India moves and statements in recent months.
According to Prachanda, his faction did not force Oli to resign simply because it would have given a message that Oli’s statement was true. “Now did Oli split the party and dissolve the House of Representatives at the direction of India?” the former PM asked.
He said the truth has already been revealed to the Nepalese people. “Oli met Samanta Goel, the chief of R&AW, the intelligence wing of India, for three hours at his official residence at Baluwatar, without the presence of any second person, which clearly shows Oli’s motive,” Prachanda alleged. He accused Prime Minister Oli of taking wrong advice from external forces.
However, India has described Oli’s sudden decision to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections as an “internal matter” that is for the country to decide as per its democratic processes.
Meanwhile, the visit of Nepal’s foreign minister is significant since bilateral ties have undergone severe strain last year over Nepal’s issuance of a new political map in May in which it claimed the disputed regions of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura spread over around 335 sq km. This is the only border area between India and Nepal that continues to remain disputed.
Earlier on December 20, Nepal plunged into a political crisis after Oli, known for his pro-Beijing leanings, recommended dissolving the 275-member House, amid a tussle for power with Prachanda. President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House the same day and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10, sparking protests from a large section of the NCP led by Prachanda, also a co-chair of the ruling party.
Oli shot to fame by winning an overwhelming mandate for the pro-China Nepal Communist Party (NCP) on an anti-India wave of ultra-nationalism and later bashing New Delhi with sundry charges, including territorial aggression and attempts at unseating his Government.