New Delhi: Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, facing internal criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, has pointed fingers at the Indian embassy for being behind a plot to “topple” him.
Oli made this direct allegation in his remarks at a function to mark the birth anniversary of the Nepali communist leader Madan Bhandari at his official residence on Sunday.
“Plots are being hatched to topple me for releasing the country’s new map and getting it adopted through Parliament,” said Oli in Nepali, according to an English translation of his words by Kathmandu Post. “Given the ongoing intellectual discussions, media reports from New Delhi, embassy’s activities and meetings at different hotels in Kathmandu, it is not very difficult to understand how people are openly active to oust me. But they won’t succeed”.
The Republica also reported that the Nepalese premier accused Indian media, intellectuals and government of conspiring to oust his government.
“Listen to the media in Delhi. That shows [this]. Look at the activities in various hotels here. Look at the proactiveness of the [Indian] embassy. That has shown this,” Oli said, as reported by the newspaper.
He was also quoted as alleging that the new political map of Nepal approved by his government and Nthe country’s parliament earlier this month was the reason for India activating a conspiracy against him. “We amended our political map. We also gave this a constitutional form. You may have heard since then that the prime minister [in Nepal] will be changed in a week or 15 days. You must have heard Indian media and intellectuals. Indian state machineries are getting surprisingly active,” he stated.
Oli’s finger-pointing takes place in the backdrop of the ongoing meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party’s standing committee, where he faced a barrage of criticism from other leaders including the co-chair of the party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. The latter has been accusing Oli of taking decisions without any consultations and having a dictatorial approach. The standing committee will resume its meeting on June 30.
The NCP’s standing committee is meeting after a gap of six months, since previously scheduled gatherings were postponed several times. When the standing committee met to begin the meeting in early May, Oli had walked out citing health reasons. At that time, the Nepali media reported that the party faction led by Dahal felt that Oli was avoiding the meeting as he would be asked to step down either from the post of the prime minister or party chairmanship.
It was soon after this event that India’s opening of a new link road to Lipulekh was cited as the reason for the Nepali cabinet to approve a new political map incorporating territories claimed by New Delhi.
A resurgent Oli brought the constitutional amendment to update the map in the national coat of arms, which all parties unanimously supported.
It had seemed that the Nepalese PM had successfully managed to skirt around the domestic disapproval, but the party in-fighting came to the surface again this week.
During his remarks on Sunday, Oli also said that a section of political leaders within Nepal had joined foreign powers to remove his administration.
“Leaders from Nepal themselves are active in this. The debate that K.P. Oli should be ousted right away has been started,” he stated, urging his party colleagues to not be swayed.
Oli also brought up his resignation in July 2016, just before a no-confidence vote that he was set to lose as his coalition partner, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), which was then headed by Dahal, withdrew support.
“Our government collapsed shortly after we returned home following agreements with China. This was because we did not have the requisite majority votes in parliament,” he said
When he resigned in 2016, Oli had also indicated that there had been a “conspiracy” that brought him down, hinting that India had wanted him out for his overtures to China.
The major part of Oli’s first term in 2015-16 had been dominated by India’s de facto economic blockade, after New Delhi expressed unhappiness at what it said was the discriminatory nature of the Nepali constitution.