Nepal PM Oli's chest pain: real or a play to buy time?

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jul 02, 2020, 09:55 PM IST

Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli Photograph:(PTI)

Story highlights

On Wednesday, 31 out of 45 standing committee members took a stand against Oli. This is the highest decision making body of Nepal's ruling party and it has turned against Oli.

In Nepal, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is scripting his fall. The ruling Nepal Communist Party is headed for a split and Oli is scrambling to stay in power.

Yesterday, he got himself admitted to a hospital citing chest pain, an old and cliched trick of politicians trying to evade a crisis.

Today, he managed to escape a potential 'no confidence' vote.

As the Nepal Parliament was in session this morning, Oli moved to prorogue it. He met the President of Nepal, and asked her to discount the session without dissolving it.

The Prime Minister got his wish. With this move, comrade Oli has managed to avoid a no-confidence motion from his own party members. 

Reason behind the shutdown

Oli is facing a rebellion from within. His differences with Pushpa Kamal Dahal have become insurmountable.

Dahal, better known as Prachand, has been Nepal's Prime Minister twice. Prachand and Oli were alliance partners in 2016, but they fell out over a power struggle. In 2018, they merged their parties and the two communist parties of Nepal joined hands to become one party.

This looked like an arranged marriage, with China playing the matchmaker. However, like all things made in China, this too may not last.

The differences between Oli and Prachand are insurmountable.

On Wednesday, 31 out of 45 standing committee members took a stand against Oli. This is the highest decision making body of Nepal's ruling party and it has turned against Oli. They all want him to step down. So, Oli prorogued the parliament, and bought himself some time.

Reports say, he is planning to bring in an ordinance now -- something that could delay the split of his party. 

China's money trap

China's ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi has become deeply intertwined in the country's political setup. She has been spotted with top politicians of Nepal.

According to a report, the ambassador held a meeting with key leaders of the Nepal Communist Party in May. She convinced them to work together, instead of fighting each other. This intervention may have helped Oli back then, but things are very different now. China's influence is not limited to politics.

In 2019, the trade volume between China and Nepal touched 1.5 billion dollars. China is the second largest source of tourists in Nepal. It pulls strings in Nepal using its chequebook -- the money is being used to buy compliance.

China, by far, is the biggest aid provider for Nepal. Its grant is valued at 106 million dollars. In return, it gets more access.

China picked up 25 reconstruction projects after the earthquake in 2015. China is building its soft power too.

Last year, several private schools in Nepal made Mandarin a compulsory subject for students.

Why should they learn china's language? Because china has long term plans in Nepal. Who will fund this? Beijing.. 

Reports say the Chinese government offered to cover the salaries of the teachers in these schools. That is the extent of China's influence in Nepal.

In exchange for some Chinese funds and the promise of power, Prime Minister Oli has turned a blind eye to China's land grab. He launched a diplomatic war with India over disputed territories, but remains blind to China usurping Nepal's land.

His party and his countrymen aren't blind though. They have called out the Prime Minister and want him out.