KATHMANDU – Chief Minister and ministers of Sudurpashchim province did not go to welcome Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli who is visiting the province today.
Though Prime Minister Oli arrived in Dhangadhi, Sudurpashchim’s Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta and other cabinet members did not go to meet him amid escalating tension in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
This is the first visit of Prime Minister Oli outside the Kathmandu Valley after dissolving the parliament and setting new dates for midterm election on December 20 last year.
NCP is on the brink of a split after PM Oli dissolved the House of Representatives on December 30 last year.
The decision of Chief Minister Bhatta to not welcome Prime Minister Oli is interpreted as an effect of the split in the NCP. Chief Minister Bhatta’s secretariat has said that the Chief Minister did not meet and welcome the Prime Minister as he is coming to the province to address the gathering of his faction.
Sudurpashchim’s Chief Minister Bhatta is considered to be close to the NCP led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Madhav Kumar Nepal. The vertical split in the ruling NCP is also causing ripples in provincial governments.
The Prachanda-Nepal faction is preparing to stage demonstrations, burn effigy of Prime Minister Oli and wave him black flags during his visit to protest the government’s move to dissolve the House.
Keeping in view the preparations of the protest, the security has been beefed up in Kailali.