CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli today said UML's door was shut for Madhav Kumar Nepal as he had led a campaign to topple his own party's government and support the leader of opposition to form a new government.

Addressing a training programme organised by the Kathmandu chapter of the UML here today, Oli said Nepal should not be allowed to rejoin the UML as he set 'his own house on fire'. Nepal split the UML and formed a new party CPN (Unified Socialist) after the government brought a new ordinance lowering the threshold for splitting political parties. Oli said Nepal had misled some party cadres to join his party, but UML's door would remain open for them.

Oli also took a jibe at Vicechair Ashta Laxmi Shakya who had earlier said that the party needed Nepal and Nepal should return to the mother party.

"Sometimes I hear fellow party leaders say that party needs Nepal and he should return to UML. Why should Nepal, who promoted factionalism and toppled his own party's government, return to UML?" Oli said.

Addressing the same programme today, Ashta Laxmi Shakya had said Nepal chose the wrong path and should return to the UML.

Oli, meanwhile, said CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal's political stature had diminished. He said former CPN-MC leaders, including Ram Bahadur Thapa, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, and Lekhraj Bhatta, had chosen to remain with the UML as per the spirit of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), leaving Dahal to lead just his faction in the CPN-MC.

The master of ceremonies at the programme introduced Ram Bahadur Thapa as the UML in-charge for the Bagmati chapter, creating confusion as to who is the official in-charge of the chapter. Before the CPN-UML's merger with the CPN-MC in 2018, Ashta Laxmi Shakya was the in-charge of the Bagmati chapter.

UML leaders who were close to Nepal have been pressing Oli to revive the party structure that existed before the UML's merger.

In that structure, Shakya was the in-charge of Bagmati chapter and Bhim Bahadur Rawal was the in-charge of Sudurpaschim chapter. Recently, Oli told Rawal that Lekhraj Bhatta, who defected from the CPN-MC to joint the UML, would be the in-charge of Sudurpaschim. Rawal is not happy with Oli's decision.

Leaders close to Oli say that revival of party structures that existed before the UML's merger with the CPN-MC was not possible as former CPN-MC leaders who stayed with the UML after the nullification of the unification of UML and CPN-MC should be given appropriate role in the party. Shakya told THT that the party had not informed her officially that Thapa had been made the in-charge of Bagmati chapter. She told the party programme today that the party should implement the 10-point unity proposal that called for the revival of party structures and committees that existed before the CPN-UML's merger with the CPN-MC.

Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader of UML Subas Chandra Nembang, who is close to Oli, said Oli had told Rawal that he should discuss the matter with Bhatta and settle it amicably.

Whether it is the issue of Sudurpaschim, Bagmati, or elsewhere, the party chair has said that the concerned leaders should settle the issues through dialogue," Nembang said.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 17 2021, of The Himalayan Times.