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Nepalese PM KP Sharma Oli faces heat from party colleagues



New Delhi: Nepalese PM KP Sharma Oli’s old colleague and Communist leader Bam Dev Gautam is allegedly leading the revolt against him from within the party, exposing sharp divisions within the ruling dispensation and threatening Oli’s office.

Gautam, vice chair of Nepal Communist Party, was promised the PM’s chair, when last April Oli assured Gautam that he would step down and make way for him in future, ET has learnt from political sources in Kathmandu.

To corner Oli, Gautam has now raised the issue of “compromises” made by Nepal to conclude the Mahakali Treaty with India in 1996. Oli had backed the treaty.

Nepal watchers say it is the combination of power struggle, one-upmanship and the nationalist plank that can unseat the Oli government.

Allegation of “Indian interference” to unseat governments in Kathmandu has been a common refrain in Nepal’s politics for decades across different regimes, say Nepal watchers. Even, former Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, aka Prachanda, is eyeing the post of PM. Sources in Kathmandu believe that Dahal and his allies, including senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal, Gautam and Narayan Kaji Shrestha, are preparing to demand that Oli choose between the party chair or the prime ministership. They are opposed to Oli’s unilateral style of functioning.

Oli’s nationalist plank pitted against India, which resulted in the new political map showing Indian territories as part of Nepal, has faced a big challenge in the Mahakali Treaty.


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