A 10-member taskforce formed by the CPN-UML to settle factional disputes failed to clinch a unity deal because of differences over language in relation to UML leaders who had challenged the dissolution of the House of Representatives in the Supreme Court along with other opposition leaders.

Party Chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had issued ultimatum to UML leaders to withdraw their signatures from the Supreme Court case and the petition submitted by Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba staking claim to form a new government under Article 76 (5) of the constitution, but leaders of the rival faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal refused to bow to the PM's pressure.

Taskforce member Raghuji Panta said that the two sides still held divergent views on how they should address the party leaders' signatures in the HoR dissolution case. "I am of the view that we should not say anything on a matter that is sub judice in the court," Panta said.

Nepal-Khanal faction leaders have said they will not withdraw their signatures from the court case or from Deuba's petition, but they will also not try to make Deuba the next PM after the unity deal.

Another taskforce member Gokarna Bista said they had almost reached a deal and only some formalities needed to be completed. In response to a journalist's query, Bista said they would clinch a deal and those wanting to see the UML united would hear the good news tomorrow.

Asked if the CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal's meeting with Nepal today had marred the environment of unity, Bista said Nepal was not feeling well and it was natural for Dahal or any other political leader to visit him. He added that taskforce members were not distracted by anybody from completing their task. "We have been trying hard to keep party unity intact for weeks and we have become even more serious about it now," he added.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 11 2021, of The Himalayan Times.