Nepal PM, Oppn hold talks amid distrust within ruling coalition

Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and leader of the main opposition K P Sharma Oli held talks on November 26, a day after the Nepali Congress Chief Sher Bahadur Deuba said he is open for a debate on secularism. This comes as the country is witnessing mass protests for the restoration of Nepal’s Hindu status and monarchy.

Oli met ‘Prachanda’ at the Prime Minister’s office, and, according to sources, the two agreed there should be no compromise on secularism and the republic.

Oli, who is also Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), has been at loggerheads with ‘Prachanda’ for the last three years, ever since the two rescinded the merger. Sources said there is a possibility of an immediate fallout, as a cabinet reshuffle is expected to take away the finance portfolio from Nepali Congress and hand it to a Maoist leader.

Deuba said the issue of the republic is not open for dialogue; however, he expressed willingness to discuss secularism in the party. Deuba’s party, the biggest in the House and the ruling coalition, had refused to entertain a debate on secularism for the past 15 years. This change of stance, hence, is being seen as his tilt towards the demands of the ongoing nationwide agitation.

Meanwhile, as mass protests hit the country, the anti- corruption movement launched by Durga Prada, under the banner of ‘Save The Nation Mega Campaign’, continued for the sixth consecutive day. He also demanded action against corruption at high places, targeting Oli in particular.

Image courtesy of (X@cmprachanda)

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