CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has revealed that fellow Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli has proposed to make him sole chairman after the general convention if he accepts people's multiparty democracy as the party's ideology.
"I was offered the sole chairmanship after the general convention during the discussion with president on Saturday. But there was condition of accepting people's multiparty democracy. I was offered even the post of prime minister after the election if I accept that," standing committee member Lila Mani Pokharel quoted Dahal as briefing during the meeting of standing committee members of his faction at his residence in Khumaltar Monday morning. "I have said it is not possible to hold general convention in December and rejected people's multiparty democracy."
Dahal called the offer wrong citing it as an attack on ideological prestige.
Another standing committee member confided that the meeting called for a ceasefire. "I understand that we will move ahead after ceasefire. Those speaking in the standing committee meeting have been asked to adopt a mild tone," the leader added. "I have understood that the issue of resignation will not be raised and the standing committee meeting will be concluded. I found opinions calling to leave the issue of resignation to Oli's court."
Dahal called Oli an attitude and not an individual, and called for moving forward with unity and struggle with those in the Oli camp. "We have already landed a blow. This is a political blow. This has not come as an agenda. The ball is now in Oli's court. Our strategy will now depend on how Oli responds," another leader summarized the gist of meeting. "Oli's strategies of ordinance, emergency, splitting party and House dissolution have all failed. He has now realized that he is in minority in both the standing committee and central committee."
The leaders stressed on the need for ideological debates and discussion on other issues instead of depicting it as a fight for posts.
Three standing committee members from the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Center) did not attend the meeting that Dahal said was necessary as unification process has not been concluded. Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa cited technical reason for his absence while Janardan Sharma said he could not attend due to back problems. Industry Minister Lekh Raj Bhatta has already joined Oli's camp.
There were rumors on Saturday that Oli and Dahal reached an agreement. The two chairmen had proposed to hold the general convention in December during the meeting. Secretariat members felt the warring chairmen have reconciled due to that.
Nepal had expressed displeasure stating that Dahal and Oli acted too cozy during the secretariat meeting. But Dahal has since claimed that there has been no such deal.
Dahal briefed so to senior leaders Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, CPN Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha and others during the meeting at his residence in Khumaltar Sunday morning. Many standing committee members of the Dahal-Nepal faction including Raghuji Panta, Bhim Rawal, Bhim Acharya, Beduram Bhusal, Gokarna Bista, Surendra Pandey, Ashta Laxmi Shakya, Mukunda Neupane, Yubaraj Gyawali, Barsha Man Pun, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal and others had also joined the meeting.
"No agreement has been reached. This is a thing that will weaken me. I have expressed disagreement. It has been brought out in a wrong manner," a standing committee member quoted Dahal as saying. "Unification process has yet to conclude. Membership will have to be decided and there should be debate about ideology. General convention cannot be held merely by announcing."
Dahal assured that he cannot move forward against the will of the leaders. He stated that the issue was only discussed in the secretariat meeting and he has yet to respond to that. He complained that an issue that has not been agreed has been publicized as an agreement.
"We only discussed yesterday. I have not said yes or no to that. I have already refuted that last night," another leader quoted Dahal as saying. "All this is sponsored. Nothing has happened."
Dahal conceded that Oli proposed to make him single chairman after the general convention if Oli were allowed to serve the full five years as PM, and pointed that he did not oppose the proposal for early general convention only because it would be inappropriate to do so.
He also claimed he went to meet the president suddenly and it was not pre-scheduled but did not reveal what transpired during the meeting with the president.
Dahal and Oli had left for the Shital Niwas immediately after the secretariat meeting on Saturday. CPN General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, Shankar Pokharel, Barsha Man Pun and Janardan Sharma had also accompanied the two chairmen to meet President Bidya Devi Bhandari.