HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Standing Committee meeting of CPN-UML held here today decided to stick to the party’s previous decision that a fresh mandate was the only option to resolve the current political crisis.
UML leader Shankar Pokhrel said the party concluded that there was a slim chance of reaching an agreement on unsettled issues of constitution. “The only viable option is to hold elections for Parliament which can work as the Constituent Assembly for a few months,” Pokhrel said adding that his party would hold talks with other stakeholders to forge consensus on fresh elections.
He said his party will also seek experts’ views on how to amend legal provisions to hold fresh elections. On the issue of the nine-point demand submitted by almost three dozen party leaders, including a dozen Central Committee members, Pokhrel said UML would discuss the issues with them and if dissident leaders agreed with the party’s official line, then the party would entrust them with duties they had shouldered in the past.
Party Vice-chair Ashok Rai, who is leading the dissident party members, had submitted the nine-point demand a few weeks ago demanding that unresolved issues of constitution be settled, issue of federalism resolved either on the basis of the report prepared by State Restructuring Commission or CA’s thematic committee, and a new constitution promulgated through a revived CA.
A party source said Rai, Rajendra Shrestha and Ajambar Kangwang were less likely to return to the party. Yet the party would hold talks with them to address their grievances, he said.
The source said there was a strong possibility that other dissident leaders could soon return to the party. The UML had ‘relieved’ some of the dissident leaders of their duties after they launched a campaign for identity-based federalism.
The source said Rai was preparing to form ‘Federal Socialist Party’ and the UML leadership was well aware of it.
Ram Chandra Jha, one of the dissident leaders, said he shed sweat and blood for the party for years, and therefore, he cared for the party. “But it will be meaningless to remain in this party if our grievances are not addressed,” he added.
The meet also decided to execute the report presented by a party committee formed to probe into cases of hooliganism and unruly activities committed by some students leaders associated with the party.