His aides divested of responsibilities


In a move to punish the rival faction of the CPN-UML led by former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, the establishment faction of UML led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today called a special meeting of the party's Central Committee and removed leaders of the Nepal faction from key responsibilities that they held before the party's merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre.

Nepal, who headed the party's Foreign Affairs Department, was removed from the responsibility and replaced by the PM's Foreign Affairs Adviser Rajan Bhattarai.

According to a lawmaker who attended the meeting today, it was decided to repeal all the posts of office bearers except those of chairman and general secretary.

Oli is the chairperson of the UML and Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel is the party's general secretary.

The establishment faction today inducted 23 members in the 242-member Central Committee.

All of them were previously associated with CPN-MC and have now joined the CPN-UML.

According to a lawmaker who attended the establishment faction's meeting today, among the 23 new Central Committee members are Ram Bahadur Thapa, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Lekhraj Bhatta, Manichandra Thapa, and Prabhu Sah.

Ram Bahadur Thapa, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Prabhu Sah and Manichandra Thapa were associated with the CPN-MC in the past.

Thapa, Rayamajhi, and Sah had won HoR seats on CPN-MC tickets, but they decided to remain with the CPN-UML when the Supreme Court nullified the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) unification.

The meeting also decided to divest leaders of the Nepal faction of their responsibilities.

The Oli faction also removed Astha Laxmi Shakya as the incharge of the party's Bagmati Province chapter and replaced her with Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa. Bhim Rawal, who was the in-charge of Sudurpaschim chapter of UML, was replaced by Lekhraj Bhatta.

Subas Chandra Nembang was named the in-charge of UML's Province 1 chapter, Satya Narayan Mandal of Province 2 chapter, Prithvi Subba Gurung of Gandaki chapter, Shankar Pokharel of Lumbini chapter, and Hemlal Kandel of Karnali chapter.

CPN-UML leader Bamdev Gautam, who had been trying to keep UML and CPN-MC united, today ruled out any truck with Oli, according to his Press Secretary Bishwamani Subedi.

The Oli faction also decided to hold the party's 10th General Convention from November 17 to 21. The decision was taken without informing the rival faction led by Nepal.

UML Spokesperson Pradeep Kumar Gyawali stated in a press release that although the party would continue to make efforts to unify left forces on the basis of ideological similarities, there was no possibility of sealing a unity deal with the CPN-MC within the 15-day deadline set by the Election Commission.

Following the news that the establishment faction of the UML was holding a special meeting, the Nepal faction also held an emergency meeting of their Standing Committee members.

Yubaraj Gyawali, who attended the meeting, said they would not accept the establishment faction's decision.

Their meeting concluded that the establishment faction violated the party statute and there was no possibility of joining hands with them.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 13, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.