CPN-UML Chairperson KP Sharma Oli today accused Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota of acting in a partisan way by not issuing a notice about the 14 lawmakers that the UML recently expelled from the party. Oli had expelled 14 UML lawmakers, including Madhav Kumar Nepal, for defying party whip on May 10 when he, as the prime minister, sought a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives.

In an interview with News Agency Nepal, Oli said Sapkota repeatedly acted as a Maoist cadre. He said while the speaker had immediately issued notice about former lawmakers Sarita Giri of Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal and Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Lekhraj Bhatta, Prabhu Sah, and Gauri Shankar Chaudhary of the CPN-Maoist Centre when they were expelled by their mother parties, he was withholding the process on 14 lawmakers whom his party had recently expelled. "The speaker cannot act as a judge or a Maoist cadre. He needs to issue a notice that the UML has expelled 14 lawmakers. He has not done so even days after my party expelled 14 lawmakers," Oli said.

He warned the speaker not to conspire to split the CPN-UML. "If the speaker cannot act neutrally, then he should resign from his post," he added.

Oli also warned the speaker that he would have to face tough time running the House if he did not act neutrally on the 14 UML lawmakers that were expelled from the party.

Madhav Kumar Nepal applied for a new party yesterday with the Election Commission and 13 other lawmakers who were expelled by the establishment faction of the UML. They are with Nepal now.

Meanwhile, a group of UML leaders, including UML Chief Whip Bishal Bhattarai met Speaker Sapkota in his office today and urged him to immediately publish a notice about 14 lawmakers who were expelled from the party for defying party whip. Bhattarai told mediapersons that the speaker should not wait till the Election Commission's decision on the registration of a separate party by the faction of the UML led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal to publish the names of the 14 lawmakers who were expelled by the party. Sapkota's Press Adviser Shreedhar Neupane told THT that the speaker told UML leaders he was consulting experts and would decide soon as per the prevailing laws and the constitution.

UML lawmaker Jeevan Ram Shrestha, who is close to Nepal, told THT that the Oli faction's decision to expel him and 13 other lawmakers was erroneous. "Oli himself issued a six-point press statement, saying that he had excused all the dissident leaders for their actions.

The 10-point unity proposal prepared by the taskforce also states that the party won't take any action against dissident leaders and this was approved by the party. How can Oli now revive the settled issue and expel us from the party?" Shrestha wondered.

"How can Oli now revive the settled issue and expel us from the party?"

A version of this article appears in the print on August 20 2021, of The Himalayan Times.