News analysis : Oli-led troika in control

Damaru Lal Bhandari

Kathmandu, March 6:

The endorsement of Jhala Nath Khanal as the stand-in General Secretary of the CPN-UML is

being considered a positive development and a testimony that the party is evolving into a vibrant one. But the way stand-in boss Khanal and the new de facto boss KP Oli have got around to commence operations is a bit intriguing, what with both of them heading panels fortified by a large number of Nepal-baiters. A few observers believe Nepal would have opted for Amrit Bohora as the stand-in boss, but he could not do that since there was tremendous pressure from the camp led by Oli, amid claims that Nepal has lost majority support in the standing committee.

The impression being sent out is that while nothing was being handled professionally earlier, the new set-up will go about its job in the best way possible once a strategy is worked out to achieve what is being called “complete democracy.” Party watchers also point

out that General Secretary Nepal may face a leadership challenge and Oli may consolidate his position while Khanal serves as a stand-in chieftain. The claim stands fortified in the wake of the development in which Nepal had to merely express support to the “stand-in” leadership from the safety of his house since the faction which was not in detention had already decided to name a “stand-in” leadership. The fallout of his detention is that the trio of Nepal, Bharat Mohan Adhikari and Ishwar Pokharel has given way to a troika of Khanal , Oli and Keshav Badal.

While Oli gets to head a seven-member panel ,Badal is now the new chief of the Office Secretariat, a position which is considered powerful since it keeps tabs on party activities and workers. A clearer picture will emerge in three months, because by then the Oli panel will present its report which will serve as the new guiding mantra that will navigate the party out of the “doldrums Nepal had driven it into.” Analysts aver that the new guiding mantra could wean away the party from the path taken under Nepal which,among others, saw the popularity of the organisation plummeting to all time low. Nepal had pulled out his party from the five-party agitating allinace to join the government. That earned him the tag of an inconsistent boss. The fact that Khanal last week signed a statement alongside the NC representatives indicates a departure from the past.