Kathmandu, August 10:

CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal today announced that the NC and NC (D) were least likely to unify before constituent assembly elections later this year.

“The reports of NC and NC (D) unification have no substance. I have been told by NC leaders that unification was ruled out. This leaves our party to be the largest outfit in the next elections,” Nepal said while speaking at the inaugural of the central committee meeting of the UML-affiliated students’ outfit, ANNFSU, in Bhaktapur today. He expressed happiness that “this will leave the CPN-UML as the largest party in the next parliament”. He told the student communities to work hard to promote the party in the villages.

However, NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC debunked the claims coming from Nepal saying “he certainly has been misinformed on the issue. The task forces working on the unification have sorted out a lot of problems. It could take anything from a week to 10 days before the remaining obstacles are sorted out, too.”

However, he declined comment when asked how long will it take for the party leadership to sort out the issue of who will be the second man after Girija Prasad Koirala.

So far, NC president Koirala has been unsuccessful in striking an agreement over who will be the second man in the unified outfit from among Sher Bahadur Deuba and Sushil Koirala. The issue of who will be the second man is being considered as the thorny issue that has stalled the efforts to unify the two parties.

But KC suggested that the issue of who should lead the party after unification should be left to the special general convention which can be called anytime from now to after the CA polls.