Some second generation CPN- UML leaders close to Madhav Kumar Nepal, who did not support him when he filed a petition at the Election Commission seeking to split the party, are now trying to keep party unity intact. However, leaders close to UML Chair KP Sharma Oli say there is slim chance of unity between the two sides.

These leaders had issued a statement calling on both sides to cease hostility against each other. They demanded that the establishment faction withdraw action against 14 UML lawmakers and the Nepal faction stop the process of registering a new party.

UML parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang, who is close to party Chair KP Sharma Oli, said there was no possibility of holding unity talks with Nepal now. "Nepal has already split the party and applied at the EC for registration.

The Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government brought a new ordinance to help Nepal split the UML. It is still withholding expansion of the Cabinet in the hope that the Nepal faction will complete the registration process soon and send its members to the Cabinet,"

Nembang said. He said his faction was holding continuous talks with some second-generation leaders of the party who were close to Nepal in the past, but did not support his move to split the party.

He added that his faction was confident these second-generation leaders would stay with the mainstream UML.

UML lawmaker Khagaraj Adhikari, who is close to Oli, said second generation leaders had demanded that Oli withdraw action against 14 lawmakers, but this could be possible only when Nepal stopped the process of registering a new party, apologised for toppling his own party's government thereby helping Sher Bahadur Deuba to form the new government, and inciting the Deuba government to bring a new ordinance to lower the threshold for splitting political parties.

UML lawmaker Birodh Khatiwada, who is close to Madhav Kumar Nepal, said that those leaders who had earned the nickname of thirdfront, needed to make their stance clear by the day the Election Commission decided on registration of CPN (Unified Socialist). "No leader can politically survive by putting their legs in two different boats.

Those leaders that have issued the joint statement must take a call soon on which party they will join," he added.

The Election Commission has summoned leaders who have signed the petition for splitting the UML, on August 25, to verify their signatures.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 22 2021, of The Himalayan Times.