The CPN-UML has decided to change the venue for its next general convention from Butwal to Chitwan.

A meeting of the party's standing committee decided to hold the 10th general convention of the UML in Chitwan from November 26 to 28. Earlier, the main opposition party had decided to hold its 10th general convention in Butwal from November 26-28.

UML Spokesperson Pradeep Kumar Gyawali told mediapersons that the party had formed a 21-member General Convention Management Committee under Ram Bahadur Thapa.

A UML leader told THT that in the statute convention many party leaders had expressed their views about holding the next general convention in Chitwan.

"When party Chair KP Sharma Oli announced Butwal as the venue for the general convention, he had hinted that the venue could be changed."

The leader said Chitwan was named the new venue mainly due to its symbolic importance, as it is the home district of CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal. "We do not think that Dahal or his party pose any challenge to our party.

But if anybody thinks that Dahal is a force to reckon with politically, the next UML general convention in Chitwan should send an appropriate message to him/ her in the run-up to polls," the source added.

It is likely that local, provincial, and parliamentary elections will be held together and if all types of elections don't happen simultaneously, at least local elections will happen in the next six months. The next general convention will send a clear message of our strength ahead of elections, the UML source added.

UML Spokesperson Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the standing committee reviewed the recently held statute convention and concluded that it was a grand success as it not only injected a feeling of unity in the party, but also rallied everyone around the party's ideology.

Asked about some party leaders' dissatisfaction over the non-compliance with the 10-point proposal, Gyawali said 95 per cent of the proposal had already been implemented.

Gyawali said a task force was formed to figure out where the 10-point proposal had yet not been implemented and how it could be done.

Prior to the UML's merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre in 2018, Bhim Bahadur Rawal and Ashta Laxmi Shakya were chiefs of Sudurpaschim and Bagmati chapters of the UML, respectively, but they have not got their roles yet and are unhappy about it.

The UML expressed grief over the loss of life and property due to recent floods and landslides and demanded that the government provide relief to the disaster-hit people.

The main opposition party also demanded that the government immediately provide relief to farmers who had lost their crops at the time of harvest amidst the Dashain festivities.

Gyawali accused the government of unnecessarily interfering in NRN elections and the Red Cross.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 22, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.