Nepal's ruling CPN-UML seeks clarification from Nepal, others for anti-party activities

Shirish B Pradhan
·3-min read

Kathmandu, Mar 22 (PTI) Nepal's ruling CPN-UML, led by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, has sought clarification from its four senior leaders, including dissident Madhav Kumar Nepal, for their involvement in anti-party activities, intensifying the factional rift in the party.

According to sources in the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the party has sought clarification from Nepal, former prime minister and leader of the party's rival faction, senior leaders Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey and Ghanshyam Bhusal in accordance with the decision taken by the party's central committee meeting on Saturday.

The party's central committee meeting decided to seek clarification from the four senior leaders for speaking publicly against the party and the government, and holding parallel meetings of the party.

'We dispatched letters to four leaders of the party today morning seeking clarification regarding a national gathering organised by the Madhav Nepal-led faction,' Ishwari Rijal, secretary at the UML's party office, said.

The party has asked them to submit clarification within three days.

The UML central committee, which is dominated by the Oli-led faction, also concluded that the Madhav Nepal-led faction of the party harboured factional politics by forming parallel committees across the country.

Upping the ante against Prime Minister Oli, the rival faction, led by Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal, of the ruling CPN-UML on Friday decided to launch a nationwide campaign to revive and reorganise all the party committees the way they were before its merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.

The decision was taken after the conclusion of the national gathering organised by the Nepal-Khanal faction of the over 4,000 party leaders and cadres close to them on Wednesday and Thursday.

They also alleged that Oli, who is also the Chairperson of the party, was bent on splitting it.

The Oli-led faction had threatened to take disciplinary action against those who will attend the national gathering organised by the rival faction.

However, some leaders of the faction had boycotted the parliamentary meeting called by Oli on Thursday.

The meeting directed the lawmakers of the Khanal-Nepal faction to return with “self-realisation” or else face action.

The rift between the CPN-UML factions intensified after the rival Nepal-Khanal faction demanded Oli to take back his March 12 decisions that divested leaders close to the duo of key responsibilities in the party.

On March 12, the Central Committee meeting dominated by the Oli-led faction nominated 23 new members to the party’s Central Committee (CC). It also nominated 23 former Maoist leaders who joined the UML as CC members.

Prime Minister Oli's dissolution of the House of Representatives in December triggered a political crisis in the country. It led to CPN-MC to split from the ruling NCP. Nepal and Khanal had also sided with Prachanda in seeking Oli's resignation as Prime Minister.

However, in a landmark ruling, the apex court last month reinstated the lower house of Parliament.

The political scenario in the country worsened after the Supreme Court recently nullified CPN-MC's merger with CPN-UML. The two parties had merged in May 2018 to form a unified Nepal Communist Party following the victory of their alliance in the 2017 general elections. PTI SBP RS AKJ RS