Factional feud prevents appointments in NCP

Kathmandu, June 22

The much hyped meeting of Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’s Central Secretariat failed to name district in-charges and co-in-charges, department heads of the party and to allot responsibilities to the party’s central committee members due to factional feud.

The merger between the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre will be complete only when the unified NCP completes these tasks.

According to a senior NCP leader, today’s meeting failed to nominate the in-charges and coin-charges of the party’s district chapters mainly because of differences over ‘one person, one responsibility’ in the party.

Senior NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal has been saying this rule should be strictly followed, while Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli opposes the idea. Dahal has not made his stance clear, but some of his recent statements indicate that Dahal may also favour strict adherence to the ‘one person one responsibility’ rule.

Factional interests have continued to affect the party’s functioning as top leaders keep the upcoming general convention in their calculations for which influence of individual leaders in the party’s bodies will hold significance.

Speaking to media after the meeting, NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel said the meeting mainly discussed two agendas — finalisation of the party’s political document so as to make it public soon, and finalisation of work division of central committee members. “The co-chairs are in the final stage of editing the political document. After this, it will be made public,” he said.

“We will complete the remaining merger process soon and we will also launch a new plan to run the party,” he added.

Members of the NCP, which was formed in May following the merger between the CPN-UML and CPN-MC, have for long been criticising the leadership for not making the political document public. The document was drafted by a nine-member committee led by former PM and the party’s senior leader Nepal. The committee had unanimously endorsed the document and handed it over to the two co-chairs.

This lack of clarity of party ideology and delay in making the political document public have prompted many NCP members to say the party’s merger has failed to merge the hearts and minds of cadres.

When the two parties started their consolidation process, the two co-chairs had said the entire unification process would be completed within three months. But even after a year of the merger announcement, district in-charges and coin-charges have not been appointed, politburo members have not been nominated and the NCP’s departments have not started functioning.

On the other hand, one of the senior leaders Bamdev Gautam said the meeting only discussed two agendas: Prime Minister Oli’s Europe visit and the contemporary situation in the country.

Gautam also said the meeting failed to settle crucial issues as PM Oli had to attend a programme organised by the Muslim community.

Today’s meeting was called after many leaders criticised Oli and Dahal for delaying the merger process.

Top leaders are also divided on who gets what. For example, Oli wants to appoint Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa as chief of the party’s organisation department; whereas Dahal and Nepal want to appoint Gautam to that post.

A senior leader told THT that the party statute had clearly stipulated that ‘one person one responsibility’ would be the norm in the party and therefore, the party should follow the statute’s provision.