Kathmandu, April 2
The rival faction of the ruling CPN-UML, led by senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal, has decided to announce a new campaign on Saturday.
Although the leaders say the campaign was meant for the consolidation of the party organisation, it apparently will form parallel committees at different levels of the party to strengthen the protest against the party chairman KP Sharma Oli. It is feared that the campaign could ultimately split the party.
The faction held a meeting in Kathmandu on Friday to discuss its next move after Oli suspended Nepal and three other leaders–Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey, and Ghanashyam Bhusal–from the party.
“It proves Comrade Oli is committed to splitting the UML. We condemn this,” leader Yogesh Bhattarai told journalists after the meeting.
On March 12, Oli had removed leaders of the rival camp from party responsibilities. In response, the camp had organised a national cadres’ meeting and has been forming parallel committees in sister organisations and various districts.
On March 7, a verdict by the Supreme Court had revived the UML and the Maoist Centre by declaring the 2018 unification between them illegitimate. This decision had forced Nepal, who was preparing to split the then Nepal Communist Party and form a party with the Maoist Centre’s Pushpa Kamal Dahal by removing Oli, to return to the UML controlled by him.