Eleven influential leaders of the CPN- UML faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal today issued a joint statement accusing party Chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of attempting to split the party and conspiring to sabotage the communist movement in the country.

They said Oli's decision to suspend Nepal and Rawal from the party for six months was aimed at closing the door to negotiation and disintegrating the party. They urged all party cadres and leaders across the country to protest Oli as he was acting against the party, people, and the country.

They said Oli was taking arbitrary and autocratic steps to fulfil his interests.

They had urged Oli to revive party bodies and structures that existed before the UML's merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre and to collaborate with communist forces, but Oli rejected their proposal.

UML leaders of the Nepal-Khanal faction said Oli acted against the party's statute when he inducted 23 former Maoist members in the party's central committee and formed the 10th General Convention Committee.

They alleged that after Oli became the prime minister, he continuously harmed the interests of the people and the country and acted against the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. They said Oli sought clarification from Nepal, Rawal, Ghanashyam Bhusal, and Surendra Pandey to intensify intra-party feud.

Those who issued the statement are: Nepal, Khanal, Yubaraj Gyawali, Asta Laxmi Shakya, Bhim Rawal, Ghanashyam Bhusal, Bhim Acharya, Gokarna Bista, Yogesh Bhattarai, Mukunda Neupane, and Surendra Pandey.

Yubaraj Gyawali told mediapersons that Oli's next move would determine the fate of the party. He said the Nepal-Khanal faction could get space for fighting within the party only if party committees and structures that existed before the CPN-UML's merger with the CPN-MC were revived. He said recent political development proved that Oli had unified the UML with the CPN-MC just to become the prime minister. In response to a journalist's query, Gyawali said Oli's recent decisions and actions were against the party's statute adopted by the UML's ninth general convention.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 31, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.