Deputy Prime Minister and CPN secretariat member Ishwore Pokharel has met CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at the latter's residence in Khumaltar on Friday.
A party source claimed that Pokharel, confidant of PM and CPN Chairman KP Sharma Oli, urged Dahal that the two chairmen should present a joint proposal.
Oli's two other lieutenants CPN General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang also had separate meetings with Dahal in Khumaltar on Thursday.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is also trying to mediate between the warring chairmen who have not had one-on-one meeting for almost four weeks. She met the two chairmen separately on Thursday but the specifics of what she discussed with the two have yet to be revealed.
Oli boycotted the secretariat meeting on Wednesday, after trying in vain to stall it on Tuesday, and looks unlikely to attend the next meeting on Saturday as well. Oli insists that the proposal that Dahal presented should not be formally discussed and withdrawn instead.
The leaders allied against Oli deeming that most of the issues are related to Oli gave him a break of a few days so that he can attend the meeting on Saturday. They look intent to hold the meeting and move ahead on Saturday even if Oli does not attend.
Oli had tried to stall the meeting on Tuesday. A secretariat member confided with Setopati that Oli called Dahal's political report charge sheet full of baseless allegations and prejudice when Dahal starting the meeting asked Oli if he has anything to say. "Oli said that the meeting cannot start until Dahal withdraws that charge sheet or apologize. Oli took a stand for a long time saying he will not allow the meeting to run."
The secretariat member revealed that even Ishwore Pokharel opposed Oli's stand to not start meeting and General Secretary Bishnu Paudel was the only member in the nine-strong secretariat to support Oli to stall the meeting. "The meeting only started after we all said that discussion should be held in any kind of issues. Oli wanted to not start the meeting," the secretariat member added.
Dahal countered pointing how he was forced to write the report when Oli refused to hold meeting to discuss the issues including the Karnali dispute, Cabinet reshuffle, Oli's meeting with Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Samant Kumar Goel, murder of a party cadre in Parsa and others and pointed that it is up to the secretariat to evaluate his report. "I have written everything that I have seen. It is not you who will evaluate the report but the meeting will take a call on the report after discussion," the secretariat member quoted Dahal as saying.
Discussion on the reports presented separately by the two chairmen formally started after that and it was set to continue on Wednesday. But that was not to be.
CPN Chairmen have resorted to making formal allegations against each other in their reports with Dahal making the allegations first in his political proposal. Oli responded to Dahal's proposal making counter allegations against Dahal.
Oli challenged fellow Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to legally prove corruption allegations or apologize for the allegations or be ready to face punishment if he doesn't apologize.
Oli stated in his response that criminal allegations cannot be discussed politically and said the party should adopt legal way for criminal accusations. He added that the criminal allegations should either be proved or there should be apology on that or Dahal should face punishment for groundless allegations if he doesn't apologize.
Oli also accused Dahal of nepotism in his response to Dahal's political proposal that he presented to the secretariat meeting Saturday afternoon. "There is nepotism in you. Making daughter-in-law minister, daughter mayor and nephew ambassador is not socialism," Oli's report accuses.
Dahal had presented a 19-page proposal with consent of the majority of secretariat members during the secretariat meeting on November 13 criticizing CPN Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli and slamming him for failing to properly run both the government and the party. He has also made corruption allegations against Oli in the proposal.
Oli has announced end of past agreements and understanding with fellow Dahal after the proposal and those in the Oli camp have been demanding withdrawal of the proposal.
Oli demanded time to respond to the political proposal submitted by Dahal during the last secretariat meeting on November 18. He claimed that Dahal's proposal has baselessly made serious allegations against him and he will have to respond to that with preparations.
The meeting, therefore, decided to give him 10 days to draft the response. Oli presented his response in the secretariat meeting on November 28 and the secretariat members were given time until today to study both Dahal's proposal and Oli's response.
The ruling party is again facing a grave crisis with Dahal claiming that PM Oli has proposed to split the ruling party even as Oli is in minority in parliamentary party, secretariat, standing committee and central committee.
Dahal, Khanal, Nepal and Shrestha have been together in the fight against Oli all the time while Gautam keeps on changing camps. Gautam is angry with Oli now after he was not inducted in the Cabinet in the latest Cabinet reshuffle.
Sources close to Oli, however, have claimed that Dahal has demanded the post of PM.
Dahal is reportedly aggrieved about the Karnali dispute, Cabinet reshuffle, Oli's meeting with Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Samant Kumar Goel, murder of a party cadre in Parsa and other issues.
Oli and Dahal had signed a five-point agreement at the time of unification of the then CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) on May 17, 2018. The two parties had unified to form CPN the next day on the basis of the five-point agreement.
The fourth point of the agreement mentioned that the two chairmen will lead the government as necessary on the basis of equality and equal period.
But Dahal had relinquished his claim for the post of PM after the two chairmen signed an agreement on division of responsibilities in presence of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on November 20, 2019.
Dahal was made chairman with executive rights. Oli and Dahal were to remain chairmen, and Oli to continue to be ranked top but Oli had handed over the executive rights to Dahal.
Dahal was to lead the party and chair party meetings while Oli would lead the government through the current term of House of Representatives, according to the agreement.
The party was then on the verge of split with Dahal aggrieved that Oli continues to run even the party unilaterally and the overwhelming majority of members during the last standing committee meeting seeking resignation of PM Oli.
The two chairmen then formed a six-strong task force in August to resolve internal dispute in the party. The standing committee meeting then took decision on the basis of the report submitted by the task force that recommended that Oli would serve the full five-year term as PM and Dahal would take the wheel of the party.
Dahal was to be fully active in party works but required to consult PM Oli who will remain a sort of ceremonial chairman. Similarly, PM Oli was required to move the government works forward consulting Dahal.
But Oli has unilaterally made appointments of ambassadors and reshuffled Cabinet without endorsement of Dahal since the standing committee decision.