Looking at the recent developments, it is seen that Nepal is becoming a playground of the international power center and this is increasing the threat to regional stability. Nepal is particularly influenced by India’s desire to keep Nepal under its security umbrella and by the US plan using Nepal as a base to prevent China’s influence growing in Nepal. Nepal’s politics and the leaders of the political parties have gone in the same direction. In this article seeks to shed light on the internal situation of the NCP (NCP), its impact on and foreign role:
After the meeting of the Central Committee of own camp at Baber Mahal, leaders including Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Senior Leader Jhala Nath Khanal and Leader Amrit Kumar Bohara reached Balkhu on Thursday. They laid a wreath at the half-length statue of Madan Bhandari, a leader of the then CPN-UML central office, which was demolished after the 2072 BS earthquake.
Leader Dahal’s group did not visit the party office in Perisdanda. Statues of the warriors of the people’s war led by Dahal for 10 years are kept on Perisdanda. Why did Dahal only remember the people’s leader Madan Bhandari without remembering them? Its political significance will probably become clear in the days to come, because before the split, there was a dispute within the NCP (NCP) over political principles. The former UML was trying to bring Dahal on the path of multi-party democracy of the people of Bhandari. Dahal is against it.
At a time when there was controversy in the party, Prime Minister KP Oli had said if Dahal came in favor of multi-party democracy that would be comfortable with many issues of equation. Another message of going to Balkhu is to assure the general cadres that they have the authority of the former NCP (NCP). According to Prime Minister Oli’s claim, the cadres are in favor of Oli. A large number of leaders are in the Dahal-Nepal group. Oli defines it as the letter ‘V’.
After a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Dec. 20, Sunday morning recommended the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the long-running dispute within the NCP (NCP) moved in the direction of split. Prime Minister Oli’s camp did not attend the meeting of the NCP (NCP) Standing Committee held on Sunday. Prachanda Nepal’s side decided to take action of discipline against Oli. The decision was taken at a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar.
Prime Minister Oli had reached Dahal’s residence in Khumaltar on Saturday to discuss the party’s problems. Oli had urged Dahal to withdraw the charge sheet submitted to the secretariat. Dahal had said that even though he had submitted it, as it was a party document, the meeting of the standing committee would decide on that. So Oli left saying he will not participate in the Standing Committee meeting tomorrow.
Leaving Khumaltar, Oli reached the minister’s residence in Pulchowk. There he talked for some time with Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa. Due to his busy schedule throughout the day, many had no idea about the split of the party. Both sides were not in a position to retreat even an inch from their positions. The Dahal-Nepal faction was preparing to register a no-confidence motion against Oli. Opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress, demanded a special session of parliament.
Oli was also aware that leader Surendra Prasad Pandey & Janardan Sharma group made the lawmakers signs for the no-confidence motion against Oli. This was the only option to remove Oli from the PM’s post. After Oli was removed from the post of Prime Minister, his plan was to impeach President Bidyadevi Bhandari. In such a situation, everything that the President would do through the government, the party, the parliament and the vice president would be in the hands of Dahal and Nepal.
With the opening of the office on Sunday morning, Oli began preparations for the dissolution of the House of Representatives, considering the possibility of a no-confidence motion being registered. Leader Dahal said that he received information about Prime Minister Oli’s preparations at 5 in the morning. He tried to stop Oli. However, despite Dahal’s efforts, Oli did not stop moving forward.
Oli and Dahal were discussing in Baluwatar after the decision to dissolve the House of Representatives reached to the President. While Dahal was urging Oli to withdraw the motion to dissolve the House of Representatives, a no-confidence motion was filed against Oli in the Parliament Secretariat and the President’s Office issued a statement dissolving the House of Representatives.
Fear of authority:
The development of recent political events has been accelerated by the ordinance issued on 15 December. Speaker Agni Sapkota did not attend the meeting of the Constitutional Council convened by Prime Minister Oli that day. The meeting was adjourned due to lack of quorum. The meeting convened two days ago on December 13 was adjourned to Tuesday after Leader of the Opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba and Speaker Sapkota were absent.
Prime Minister Oli wanted to resolve the issue of appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority from the meeting of the Constitutional Council. For this, he had put forward former secretary Prem Kumar Rai. Due to the relationship between Rai and Oli, the Prachanda-Nepal group was terrified. In particular, a writ was filed in the Supreme Court against Nepal on 12 Feb, 2020, demanding that filed a corruption case in the Lalita Niwas land in Baluwatar. The writ has not been finalized.
With the Supreme Court ruling and the authorities immediately filing a case in a special court, the situation of Nepal cannot be said to be similar to that of Deep Basnyat. Former Chief Commissioner Basnyat was remanded in custody by a special court on December 13. Basnyat, as the then secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, had signed a file on land misappropriation at Lalita Niwas.
Basnyat had tried to escape by showing the Prime Minister in his statement to the court. The bench also rejected his argument that the secretary could not disobey the Prime Minister’s order. Dahal, the then executive Chairman of the NCP (NCP) was as apprehensive as the Nepal group that Prime Minister Oli’s man could be appointed as the head of the authority. Not only Dahal but also the Maoist leaders have put the issue of embezzlement of state funds in the peace process on hold by the Authority.
While the then Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was holding talks at the Indian President’s Office, at the same time, a press conference was organized at the Kathmandu Naxal-based Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on September 31, 2016 at 6 pm. Spokesperson Ganesh Raj Karki had said at the conference that the investigation into the irregularities related to the Maoist combatants had reached its final stage. “We have called the key officials for questioning and investigation”. After the statement, the action will be decided.’
A few days after Prime Minister Dahal returned from a visit to India, an impeachment motion was filed in Parliament against Lokman Singh Karki. As a result, the investigation into irregularities related to Maoist combatants could not proceed. In the first year of the Maoist peace process, the Auditor General’s Office showed a deficit of Rs 461 million, which is 92 percent of the expenditure incurred that year. The then Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara had received the amount to support the combatants.
Since April 20, 2007, the Peace Fund under the Ministry of Peace has started sending money directly to the camps for 30,852 Maoist combatants. At the rate of Rs. 57.38 million per month, Rs. 520 million was sent to the camps in nine months. The number of combatants in the cantonment for 14 months was remitted by the government based on Maoist leader Dahal’s words.
The Office of the Auditor General had not only kept the amount in deficit, but also the expenditure incurred in the Maoist camp till April 2012. In April 2012, on the proposal of the then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, the Council of Ministers decided to remove the amount from deficit. The issue of the undocumented Accountant, Auditor General’s Office removing the amount from deficit, was also discussed in the Accounts Committee of the then Parliament. A complaint was filed in the authorities against the then Maoist leader Dahal for embezzling crores of rupees from the state by cheating the number of Maoist combatants.
Suppressed as much as possible:
It had been more than a year since Prime Minister Oli began to suppress Dahal and other leaders. The decision taken by the Secretariat on 26 February 2020 to take Bamdev Gautam to the National Assembly was ignored by Oli. On March 7, Dr. Yuvaraj Khatiwada’s term was coming to an end. Due to the working style of Khatiwada, who is also the Finance Minister, the leaders of Dahal Nepal side were thinking of not taking him back to the National Assembly anyway. Oli, on the other hand, was adamant that he would never leave Khatiwada.
On March 2, Oli was admitted to the hospital for a emergency kidney transplant. Leaders Dahal and Nepal concluded that Oli would no longer be able to work as he was undergoing a second kidney transplant. Despite reversing the decision to take Gautam to the National Assembly, Oli reappointed Khatiwada as Finance Minister for six months. On March 4, Oli re-appointed Khatiwada as Finance Minister from the hospital bed. Oli remained silent on Gautam issue. Even those who were dissatisfied with his decision could not speak as he was admitted to the hospital.
After the kidney transplant, the leaders were of the view that the weak Oli could be gradually sidelined due to health reasons. At that time, Dahal had agreed to be the Prime Minister and Nepal Party Chairman and Khanal to be the President. Oli returned to work less than a week after receiving a kidney transplant. Due to which, there was no other option to sideline Oli except suppressing.
After April 2020, the issue of corona infection was overshadowed by the party dispute. The understandings reached between Oli and Dahal-Nepal camp were not followed. Their thinking seemed to be more focused on demolishing each other. Prime Minister Dahal created an atmosphere of mistrust by bringing an ordinance on party split in April.
Oli came under more pressure after India inaugurated the road to China through Nepal’s Limpiyadhura Lipulekh. Due to such pressure, Nepal issued a new map. India relations that have been strained due to the new map are on the path of improvement after Samant Kumar Goel’s visit to Nepal. Goel had arrived in Nepal on Wednesday October 21. The Prime Minister’s meeting with Goel became the issue of the party dispute as well.
The Dahal-Nepal faction of the NCP (NCP) had been discussing the alternative of Prime Minister Oli. This was revealed by Prime Minister Oli himself. In a program on 28 June 2020, he said: “Now there is an open race to remove KP Oli. It has been said that people who commit such crimes should not be kept. Printing a map is called a crime.’ There have been activities in hotels to dismiss me. Activism has increased in the embassies.
On 2nd November 2019, India issued a new political map covering the land of Nepal. Dahal and Nepal were not much seen together in the protest programs. Apart from this, leaders Nepal and Khanal were present at the program organized by the NCP (NCP) Policy Study Foundation. They demanded an immediate solution to the border issue with the government. The government had tried to send Nepal to Delhi for talks on the border issue.
Nepal, who had been making only general criticism of the government until December 2019, gradually began to see a change in the government. At the time, the prime minister’s kidney had stopped working. He was more focused on treatment options than running the government. Meanwhile, the Dahal-Nepal alliance was getting stronger.
At the end of 2019, there was a corona infection in Wuhan, China. As the transition gradually took on an international dimension, Dahal put forward the idea of creating an all-party mechanism. Prime Minister Oli understood that to set up a mechanism to fight the corona infection with the intention that the government of majority could not work. As a result, Prime Minister Oli stood against Dahal’s proposal. The media, which is close to Dahal, has been critical to the government for being unable to return Nepali students.
During party unity, Prime Minister Oli and leader Dahal agreed to run the government turn by turn. This agreement was not made public. On 7 September 2018, Dahal visited India. During his visit to India, Dahal met high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During his visit to India, he gave interviews to The Hindustan Times and The Print. In an interview, Dahal said that he and Oli had agreed to lead the party and the government equally at the time of party unity. The Hindustan Times had asked Prachanda: According to the agreement reached between you and Oli, after two years, will you be given only the post of Prime Minister or both the posts? In reply, Prachanda had said: “The spirit of understanding is one of the posts.” He also gave same message in the interview to ‘The Print’.
Prime Minister Oli was shocked by the revelation of Dahal’s secret agreement on Indian soil. The same thing is repeated in Prime Minister Oli’s address on the latest political event on 21 December 2020. He said: “Less than a year after the formation of the government, a leader went out of the country and spread the message of instability. Some leaders in the absence of Prime Minister asked the help to save the country to outsiders.
On 27 September 2018, another leader Nepal, speaking in Parliament, drew the attention of ministers, the government and all state bodies to save the country from sinking. The Prime Minister also said that he was shocked by the statement of Nepal, who has been busier in programs organized abroad than in Nepal after the formation of the government. The Prime Minister has never been aware of the statements made by Chairman Dahal and the leader Nepal against government by his own party.
After such a statement by the leader Nepal, the criticism began to increase on process of running the government from within the party. Prime Minister Oli ignored such criticism and took the policy to move forward by suppressing. He also stopped holding general consultations with party leaders in running the government. The government, which was in decline due to Nirmala’s assassination, seemed to have failed when it came to corona management. However, Prime Minister Oli has denied that the government has failed.
Another allegation leveled at the government is its relationship with its neighbors. Since Oli became prime minister, relations with neighbors, especially India, have been volatile. When Oli became the Prime Minister for the first time, India rejected Nepal’s constitution and imposed blockade. In response to the blockade, Oli not only introduced himself as a nationalist but also signed a transit agreement with China. Due to which, the attitude towards India in Nepal had also changed. The Indians have been claiming that China is behind such a change.
External manipulation seems to be the most important factor behind the spontaneous changes in Nepal. The Chinese ambassador to Nepal was actively involved in resolving some of the issues of the NCP (NCP) party dispute which reflect in the most of the Nepalese media. Even after the recent political developments in Nepal, Ambassador Hou Yanqi has met with the President, leaders Dahal and Nepal. China seems to be thinking not only of stability in Nepal but also of advancing the agreements reached between the two countries.
Political stability is seen as the first condition for advancing the development work committed by China in Nepal. China seems to be moving forward with the idea if the NCP (NCP) dispute creates an unstable environment in Nepal then that also affects the North. After the split of the NCP (NCP), the Indian media has claimed that the Prime Minister of Nepal has started moving from north to south. The US seems to be the main reason behind this, not India.
The last BECA Agreement was signed between India and the United States. The agreement was reached during a visit to India by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 27. The agreement will lead to the exchange of high-level military technology, satellite information, and strategically important information between the United States and India. India, which had earlier been reluctant to be a partner in the US-led Indo-Pacific strategy, has agreed to become a legal member of the IPS. The United States had sought to give Nepal a central role in the Indo-Pacific Strategy while seeking India’s withdrawal from the US.
On December 18, 2018, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali and his American counterpart Mike Pompeo agreed that Nepal would play a central role in the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Sixteen years later, the United States summoned Nepal’s foreign minister to agree on the issue. After much public outcry, Minister Gyawali defended the agreement, saying: “Nepal’s interest is only in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The agreement was opposed from within the NCP (NCP). NCP (NCP) Chairman Prachanda had instructed to oppose the MCC on the direction of the Indians. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) could not be passed by the Parliament of Nepal due to protests from within the NCP (NCP). As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inclination towards the United States grows, so does the activity of the Indian intelligence agency RAW in Nepal. RAW had been working with the US organization CIA in this area. This order was broken when Modi was elected Prime Minister for the first time.
Presence of external forces in Nepal:
The presence of external forces in Nepal is abundant in the political, economic, cultural, military and social spheres. Although foreign intervention has been on the rise since the Rana regime, it has been felt that it has become very tense in the latter part of the Panchayat period. Stakeholders have repeatedly acknowledged that foreign intervention has created an environment for political change. It is as clear as the crystal.
The United States had sought to give Nepal a central role in the Indo-Pacific Strategy while seeking India’s withdrawal from the US. India, well aware that the US was bargaining with them, had persuaded Prachanda to oppose the MCC through RAW. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) could not be passed by the Parliament of Nepal due to protests from within the NCP (NCP). India, which has been reluctant to be a partner in the US-led Indo-Pacific strategy, has agreed to become a legal member of the IPS. Meanwhile, the last BECA agreement was signed between India and the United States. The Energy Minister of the current government, which has been restructured and expanded after the Dahal-Nepal faction left, has expressed the view that the assistance under the MCC should be accepted while assuming office. Foreign intervention was not limited to the political sphere. It also affected Nepal’s military. In particular, the CIA’s influence in Nepal’s administration, security, defense, and intelligence spheres seems to be seen. In the last period of the Panchayat period, the Indian intelligence agency RAW has expanded its influence in the Nepal Army as well. After RAW started giving expensive gifts including houses to the generals of the Nepal Army in Gurgaon, India, the Nepal Army has become comfortable for the Indians. After RAW started giving houses as gifts to high-ranking officers of the Nepal Army, the CIA started giving DV, Green Cards and jobs after retirement to high-ranking officers of the Nepal Army, high-ranking officers of the Nepal Police, high-ranking officials of the National Investigation Department and bureaucrats and their families. Most secretaries of the Government of Nepal, high-ranking officials, and officers of the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and the Department of Investigation have DVs, green cards and job guarantees in the United States. As a result, they follow the policy guidelines of the US government rather than the policy guidelines of the Government of Nepal. A strong example of this is the current Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The US Green Berets has been active in the northern part of Nepal since last September in the name of a joint military exercise.
In addition, Nepali citizens have been given DV, green card and attractive employment in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Norway and other countries. In other words, Nepalese can easily get a job if they want to go to those countries. In the southern neighbor India, Nepalese youths have been openly going for jobs in the Indian Gurkha Army since long. More than four million people have got employment. However, China, its northern neighbor, has not provided such opportunities for Nepalese. Countries including India and the United States, on the recommendation of their Nepalese friends, have offered scholarships for higher education, visas, employment and other opportunities. Due to which Nepal is comfortable and positive for them.
As China has adopted a policy of non-interference in Nepal’s internal affairs, public confidence in it is high. However, it is true that China is failed to help, support and protect its patriots and pro-China supporters in Nepal. Although all the political parties and their leaders have publicly expressed their commitment to one-China policy, it is not seen in practice. According to them, no matter how much s/he opposes China, China helps and supports those who reach to power. Those outside the government understand that China does not support any assistance for them. While supporting China, it does not provide opportunities, nor does it provide assistance, nor does China offer any programs at the grassroots level, nor does it provide jobs in China, like India in the military. So why support China? Such arguments and ideas are prevalent in the minds of the people. Most Nepalese politicians also have enough complaints. According to some political leaders and high-ranking officials: ‘If you go to India, you can meet the leaders directly and express your views. There is also a good response in the United States. China has not been able to give such confidence. If you go China you can’t meet the Chinese leader. They are not easy to meet even though they address us friends. Even the embassy doesn’t care. They deal through merchants. Those merchants never fulfill their promises. The Chinese who have lived in Nepal for a long time are mostly influenced by Indians and the West. They are sending expensive gifts and influencing officials in China. They have been used by Indians and the West to get information from China. Therefore, the Chinese who have been living in Nepal for a long time have been cheating and despising Nepalese’. There is still a long way to study in this regard. However, it is true that some Nepalese leaders have been involved in spying for the Indo-West and engaging in missions to reach China or spread anti-China activities from Nepal. It would not be an exaggeration to say that their main source of income is anti-China activities. For all these reasons, the presence of external forces in Nepal seems to be becoming fatal for China.
Believing that US green card holder leaders, bureaucrats, the army, police and others from Nepal can play a China-friendly role can be nothing but foolishness. Nepal is becoming an anti-China arena day by day. Due to these and other reasons, China’s role in Nepal has not been effective. Day by day, Nepal is becoming an arena of Indo-West against China. I think it is necessary for China to pay serious attention towards this.