Nepal-Khanal faction to hold cadres' meet today much to Prime Minister Oli's chagrin


Leaders of the CPN-UML faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal and those in party Chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's camp today continued their diatribe against each other.

While the PM said he would take action against leaders of the Nepal-Khanal faction if they went ahead with their planned national cadres meet scheduled to begin tomorrow, the rival faction said it would not be cowed down by the PM's threat and would hold the meeting as planned.

The Nepal-Khanal faction, which boycotted a tea reception hosted by Oli today, orgainsed a press conference here and said that the Oli faction needed to rescind its March 12 decisions if it wanted to keep party unity intact.

On March 12, Oli called a special meeting of the party's Central Committee and unilaterally amended the party statute and divested leaders of the Nepal-Khanal faction of key responsibilities.

Surendra Prasad Pandey of the Nepal-Khanal faction said at the press conference that Oli was trying to split the party by not keeping party committees intact as they were before the merger between the UML and CPN-MC.

"If Oli rescinds his March 12 decisions, then that can be the basis of party unity," Pandey said. He criticised the PM for acting against the party's rules and statute.

"First, Oli disintegrated the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and now he is trying to break the UML," he added.

Lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai said the PM used the language of threat against leaders of the Nepal-Khanal faction and cadres but they were ready to face action for their cause.

Bishnu Rijal said the Nepal-Khanal faction was all set to hold the two-day national cadres meet where around 2,000 leaders and cadres representing all wings of the party would take part.

He said a concept paper would be presented in the meeting and it would be passed incorporating suggestions of the participants.

A press release issued at the press conference stated that the national cadres' meet was aimed at ending Oli's monopoly and protecting the norms of people's multi-party democracy.

Meanwhile, Oli spoke in a similar vein against leaders of the Nepal-Khanal faction at a tea reception organised at Baluwatar.

He accused Nepal and Khanal, who did not attend the tea party, of anti-party activities.

He said the Nepal-Khanal faction was defying party rules by deciding to organise a national cadres meeting.

"They did not attend the tea reception. I hear that they are going to organise a national cadres meet tomorrow where they will also pass a report. I can no longer tolerate anti-party activities," Oli said.

Khanal and Nepal had aligned with CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal before the nullification of the NCP (NCP) and had sought the PM's resignation.

They had vehemently opposed Oli's decision to dissolve the House of Representatives, which was eventually reinstated by the Supreme Court last month.

The Nepal-Dahal faction of the NCP had removed Oli as party co-chair and sacked him even from the party's general membership.

Later, the Supreme Court nullified the NCP and revived CPN-UML and CPN-MC.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.