Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli of Nepal on Sunday said meetings are being organised in India to topple his government.
Addressing a gathering at his official residence to mark the 69th birth anniversary of the late communist leader Madan Bhandari, Mr. Oli said his government enjoys parliamentary majority and the ouster plans will fail.
“There is news coming from Delhi about this. Look at the meetings being organised in India against Nepal’s decision to amend the Constitution to place the revised map of the country in the national emblem,” said Prime Minister Oli, pointing at the alleged plot to overthrow his government.
The lower house of Nepal’s parliament unanimously passed the Second Constitution Amendment on June 13, which gave constitutional status to the new map of the country including the disputed Limpiyadhura-Kalapani-Lipulekh region that is in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The bill was signed by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on June 18.
Mr. Oli said India was upset by Nepal’s territorial assertion.
“Nepal’s nationalism is not so weak. We have changed our map and if the prime minister of the country is deposed, then that will be unthinkable to Nepal,” he said. Hinting at India, he said some people consider the new map of Nepal a “crime”. He also indicated at an external plot against his government in 2016 and recollected that the government fell at that time because he had reached out to China and signed transit agreements which reduced dependence on land connectivity through India “I clearly remember that I was toppled when I signed transit agreement with China,” he remarked during the meeting.
“You must have heard that the Prime Minister will be changed in 15 days. If I am removed at this time, no one will dare to speak in favour of Nepal because that person will be dismissed immediately. I am not speaking for myself. I speak for the country. Our party, our parliamentary party will not fall into such traps. Those who are trying, let them try,” said Mr. Oli.
Despite the popular and emotive move on the new map, Mr. Oli has been criticised by colleagues from the faction of Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ in the ongoing meeting of the powerful Standing Committee of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. The hostility between the two factions was evident on Friday when Mr Oli did not attend the Standing Committee’s meeting.
The members of the Committee have been critical of the Prime Minister’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. It is understood that of the 44 members in the Standing Committee, around 30 are with co-chair Prachanda, considered a challenger to Mr. Oli.
The political parties of Nepal put up a joint front during the debates on the new map in parliament but soon thereafter fissures appeared in the Nepal Communist Party over the issue of leadership as Prime Minister Oli is holding both the post of the prime minister as well as chairman of the ruling party. It is being speculated that Mr. Prachanda, though not as popular as Mr. Oli, has support from the opposition and the Madhesi members of the parliament.