Forms UML standing committee, ignoring aides of former PMs


Chair of the ruling CPN-UML and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today formed a 19-member standing committee without inducting anybody from the faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal. The establishment faction, however, made Bamdev Gautam a member of the party's top body.

The new standing committee was formed by the 10th General Convention Organising Committee.

Nepal-Khanal faction leaders, who have been asked to furnish explanation for anti-party activities, were not present in the meeting. They have been boycotting party's meetings, questioning validity of such gatherings.

The newly formed standing committee includes former Maoist leaders who defected to UML recently, including ministers Ram Bahadur Thapa, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Lekh Raj Bhatta, and Manichandra Thapa.

Members of the new standing committee include Oli, Bam Dev Gautam, Ishwar Pokharel, Subas Chandra Nembang, Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Lekhraj Bhatta, Pradeep Gyawali, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Shankar Pokharel, Manichandra Thapa, Satya Narayan Mandal, Bishnu Rimal, Chhabi Lal Bishwokarma, Prithvi Subba Gurung, Raghubir Mahaseth, Keshav Badal, Kiran Gurung, and Pushparaj Kandel.

Informing mediapersons about the party body's decision, UML Spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali said leaders from the rival faction were not inducted into the standing committee because they had formed parallel committees. He said if leaders of the rival faction end factionalism and anti-party activities, they could be inducted in the standing committee.

The meeting decided to remove four Karnali Provincial Assembly members -- Prakash Jwala, Amar Bahadur Thapa, Kurmaraj Shahi, and Nanda Singh Budha -- from the party. A notification will be sent to Karnali Provincial Assembly, informing it about the party's decision.

Gyawali said the standing committee would decide what action to take against 27 federal lawmakers and one Karnali Provincial Assembly member after going through their responses to explanation letters.

He said the party had given leaders of the rival faction enough time to admit their mistake and return to the party's fold. He added that the party would not be taking punitive action against them immediately.

The meeting also allocated responsibilities to members of the 10th General Convention Organising Committee close to establishment faction.

Meanwhile in Janakpur, Nepal said that talks with the PM at Marriott Hotel made no headway, as the PM was not ready to rescind his March 12 decisions.

He said Oli must be ready to revive the party structures and committees that existed before the UML's merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.