KP Sharma Oli Photograph:( PTI )
So, he is trying to win this battle in the public court. By blaming India, and playing the nationalism card --- Oli wants to show that he is still more popular than Dahal.
Lord Ram is trending in India, all credit to the prime minister of Nepal. In his quest to prove his nationalistic credentials and to woo China, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli played the oldest card in the subcontinent's politics.
PM Oli is relying on religion to push his case in the bid to distract the people of Nepal from his failings. On Monday, Prime Minister Oli said that the real Ayodhya is in Nepal and Lord Ram is Nepali, not Indian.
According to facts, the Hindu mythology says that Lord Ram was Indian and Ayodhya as known to all is in India. However, there's an Ayodhya in Thailand too. The Ramayan has many versions of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Indonesian.
Nepal has a Maithili speaking population. There was a time when Nepal was a Sakya kingdom with a much larger territory with parts of eastern India including Bihar extending up to the Bay of Bengal.
Lord Ram is an issue both emotional and politically potent in India. PM Oli's tactic had the desired effect. There was a controversy and after letting it brew for almost 24 hours, the government of Nepal issued a clarification. It was a poor attempt at damage control.
A foreign ministry statement said the prime minister's remarks "are not meant to debase the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears".
But his remarks do debase the sanctity of the office he holds. Nepal's Prime Minister has turned to national pride and religion to save his job and he can think of only one way to survive - blame India for everything. When he felt besieged, Oli blamed India for his mounting troubles. First, he blamed Indians for the growing COVID-19 cases in Nepal. Then, he claimed India was trying to dethrone him.
These attacks backfired as the chorus for his exit grew louder. Now, Oli has come up with a new assertion about Lord Ram and Ayodhya's origins.
Needless to say, India finds these claims laughable. A paranoia is driving the actions of the Nepal prime minister in a bid to prove that he is a bigger nationalist than his rival.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the former prime minister of Nepal famously known as Prachanda has been the leading the rival faction within Nepal's ruling party. He has publicly demanded Oli's resignation. They want Oli to step down. Two leaders are fighting for power in Nepal and Oli is in the minority within his party.
So, he is trying to win the battle to garner public court by blaming India and playing the nationalism card. Oli wants to show that he is more popular than Dahal.
Both leaders are trying to dethrone the other. Oli and Prachanda are now trying to save the government through talks. In recent days, both leaders have held more than six one-on-one meetings.
Another meeting happened today but, they are nowhere close to a power-sharing deal. There could be a showdown on Friday. In four days, the standing committee of Nepal's ruling party is supposed to meet. The meeting has been delayed several times.
It was supposed to decide the fate of KP Sharma Oli. Oli has skipped this meeting several times because whenever he has attended it, he has had to face demands for resignation.
Earlier this month, Oli escaped a potential showdown with his party. Just before he came face-to-face with the rival faction, Oli complained of chest pain. He was admitted to a hospital. A day later, he prorogued the budget session of Nepal's parliament potentially avoiding a no-confidence motion from his party members and escaped a floor test.