NCP moves to consolidate unification

Kathmandu, April 21

The powerful nine-member Secretariat of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today finalised the names of party leaders who will be chairpersons and secretaries of the district chapters of the party.

NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the party would announce the names of chairpersons and secretaries of the district chapters at a programme tomorrow that would also mark the inception of Nepal’s first communist party.

With the finalisation of the names of key office bears of all 77 district chapters, the ruling party made a key headway on unification issues that had lingered on for months due to factional feuds, mainly between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Spokesperson Shrestha said the secretariat meeting also decided to name politburo members and allocate responsibilities to party leaders within a few days. The meeting, however, did not finalise issues related to sister wings of the party.

The erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre had merged last year to form a unified NCP which is co-chaired by PM Oli and former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

Party leaders had agreed earlier to let former UML leaders call the shots in 45 districts and former CPN-MC leaders to be at the helm in 32 districts. There was not much resistance in the districts allotted to erstwhile CPN-MC, but there were misgivings against the deal on the part of former UML leaders in the districts allotted to them.

In the last one week, Oli discussed unity issues with top leaders of the party, particularly with Nepal, but had failed to convince him. However, Oli and Dahal today deployed General Secretary of the party Bishnu Poudel and Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa to hold meetings with Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam, who had been at odds with the party leadership on several issues, including unification. Party sources said Poudel and Thapa’s meetings with the three leaders were positive and the three were likely to come on board.

Oli also held separate talks with Nepal, Khanal and Gautam today to convince them on unification issues.

The NCP’s Standing Committee had, on December 20, formed a task force under Ram Bahadur Thapa to expedite the remaining tasks of merger, but it failed to submit its report because of factional feud between Oli and Nepal camps.

Later, on February 22, the task force was dissolved.

It has been 11 months since the two erstwhile communist parties merged on May 17 to form the NCP, stating that the party’s merger process would be completed within three months.

The party secretariat meeting held this evening at the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar agreed to complete the remaining task of unification, such as formation of district committees, politburo and other committees.