Nepal's Prime Minister and leader of the Nepal Communist Party has been in hot water for quite some time now, and things are only going from bad to worse. Today the standing committee of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) will meet to decide on his future. Oli however doesn't seem like the ones to go out without a fight.
In today's post, we try to analyze what got us here, the likely decision that could come out of it, and the repercussions both for Nepal and Indo-Nepal relationships.
Down a wrong road
Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Oli are the two stalwarts of the Nepal Communist Party and serve as joint Chairpersons. Founded in 2018, the NCP is the largest communist party in South Asia. The party currently has a stronghold in both the lower and upper houses with 174/275 seats in the lower house and 50/59 seats in the upper house.
The party seems to be headed for a split after a fairly short union though, in part because of the disagreement between the two chairmen. Oli, in love with his new-found power as PM and Chairman, went off with his own decisions with little attention to his partner in the alliance, Mr Dahal.
Dahal obviously wasn't too pleased being left out of key decisions, and decided to strike back with support from the party's standing committee in an attempt to take back power. The Nepal border issue that we covered in one of our earlier pieces bought Mr. Oli some time on the back of nationalistic support, but not for long.
What happens from here
The options with the communist standing party are not black and white. While there is increasing consensus to get rid of Oli, it would not be without consequence. The Prime Minister would likely want to continue to retain power and consider splitting the party and bringing in folks from the opposition to continue in his position.
For a party that is currently experiencing stability in both houses, this is not an ideal outcome. It may have been a partnership of convenience rather than values, but a majority in both houses is not something you give away easily.
What lies ahead
Although Nepal isn't much of a threat, the weakening of a party with a harsh border stance against India, which would definitely be leveraged by parties like the Nepal Congress and the Rashtriya Prajantantra Party who have a more India centric stance. This shift in power, therefore, is definitely a net positive for India.
What remains to be seen if the Oli-Dahal duo can get to the negotiating table and work out an agreement - working out a soft-landing off sorts, of whether things fall apart and we head for a crash. All eyes will be on today's meeting to know more.