CPN-UML Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has sought explanation from 32 leaders of the UML faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, including 27 federal lawmakers and five Karnali Provincial Assembly members for indulging in anti-party activities and defying party whip.

Leaders from whom Oli has sought explanation include Nepal and Khanal.

UML Chief Whip in the House of Representatives Bishal Bhattarai said Oli, who is also the UML's parliamentary party leader, has sought explanations from the federal and provincial lawmakers for indulging in anti-party activities, such as formation of parallel committees across the country, indulging in anti-government activities, defying party whip, and inciting others to do the same.

Oli has asked federal and provincial lawmakers why they should not be expelled as members of the Parliament/Provincial Assembly for their anti-party activities.

Nepal and other senior leaders from whom explanation was sought earlier as well have been given two days to furnish their replies, whereas other lawmakers have been told to furnish their explanation within three days, added party sources.

Federal lawmakers who have been asked to furnish explanation include Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, Surendra Prasad Pandey, Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Ghanashyam Bhusal, Metmani Chaudhari, Pabitra Niroula, Jhapat Rawal, Yagya Raj Sunuwar, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Bhawani Khapung, Birodh Khatiwada, Som Prasad Pandey, Narayan Khatiwada, Ganesh Pahari, Jaya Kumar Rai, Dipak Prakash Bhatta, Yogesh Bhattarai, Hira Chandra KC, Pushpa Kumari Karna Kayastha, Kalyani Khadka, Laxmi Kumari Chaudhari, Krishna Lal Maharjan, Sarala Kumari Yadav, Nira Devi Jairu, Ram Kuamri Jhakri, and Mukunda Neupane.

Karnali Provincial Assembly lawmakers who have been told to furnish explanations include four lawmakers who crossed the floor recently during a confidence vote - Prakash Jwala, Nanda Singh Budha, Amar Bahadur Thapa, and Kurmaraj Shahi.

Earlier, the PM had suspended Nepal, Rawal, Pandey, and Bhusal from the party for six months for carrying out anti-party activities.

Leaders of the Nepal-Khanal faction held an emergency meeting today after Oli sought explanations from his rivals in the party.

Nepal-Khanal faction leader Ram Kumari Jhakri said they would fight Oli tooth and nail. She said they would furnish their replies individually and fight legal as well as political battle against Oli. She said it was the PM who first tried to divide the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and was doing the same to the CPN-UML.

Jhakri said the PM arbitrarily amended the party statute and the parliamentary party statute, giving himself the power to take action against party leaders. She said that her faction wanted Oli to revive all party structures and committees that existed before the UML's merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre. "Oli is trying to sabotage the communist movement in Nepal and we will not let his gameplan succeed, she said.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.