Oli strips leaders close to Nepal of responsibilitiesThe move comes days after Nepal and other leaders were forced to return to the CPN-UML after the court revived it and the Maoist Centre.
Prime Minister and CPN-UML chair KP Sharma Oli has started taking steps to keep the Madhav Kumar Nepal group within the party at bay.
Days after Nepal, along with other leaders who had sided with Pushpa Kamal Dahal, returned to the UML fold after the Supreme Court decision to revive the UML and Dahal’s Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), Oli on Friday stripped leaders close to Nepal of responsibilities.
Holding two back-to-back meetings of the party’s Central Committee on Friday at Baluwatar, Oli amended the party’s statute to accommodate leaders coming from other parties in the convention organising committee and scrapped the provision of office bearers except the general secretary.
The ninth general convention of the UML held in 2014 had elected five vice-chairs, two deputy general secretaries and five secretaries.
Bidya Devi Bhandari, the incumbent President, Bamdev Gautam, Yubaraj Gyawali, Bhim Rawal, Asta Laxmi Shakya were vice-chairs, Ishwar Pokhrel was general secretary, Ghanashyam Bhusal and Bishnu Poudel were deputy general secretaries and Yogesh Bhattarai, Pradeep Gyawali, Bhim Acharya, Prithvi Subba Gurung and Gokarna Bista were secretaries.
Gautam so far has chosen not to side with anyone–neither Oli nor Nepal.
Yubaraj Gyawali, Rawal, Shakya, Bhusal, Bhattarai, Acharya and Bista are close to Nepal. They did not attend Friday’s meetings.
After the UML and the Maoist Centre merged in May 2018, the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) decided not to give continuity to the officer bearers.
Bishnu Poudel, however, was elevated to the post of general secretary of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
“The 10th Central Committee meeting on Friday decided to amend the party statute,” said Khagaraj Adhikary, a Central Committee member. “The 11th meeting was held a while after the first meeting. Leaders from the Madhav Nepal group did not attend the meeting as they were holding their own meeting.”
The Oli-led group’s meeting also decided to change the existing responsibilities of leaders including in-charges of provinces.
Leaders close to Nepal including Bhim Acharya, Asta Laxmi Shakya, Yubaraj Gyawali and Bhim Rawal have been stripped of their responsibilities.
The meeting has appointed Bishnu Poudel as chief of the party’s organisational department and Rajan Bhattarai as the head of the international department.
Before the CPN-UML and Maoist Centre’s merger, Nepal used to lead the international department of the UML.
On Sunday, the Supreme Court, while deciding on a case filed by Rishiram Kattel, had scrapped the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), ordering reinstatement of the UML and the Maoist Centre to pre-merger state.
The court decision led to Nepal and other leaders including Jhala Nath Khanal, Raghuji Pant, Ghanashyam Bhusal and Yogesh Bhattarai, among others, returning to the UML fold.
Dahal now leads the Maoist Centre.
Before the court scrapped the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Dahal and Nepal had formed their own faction after Oli’s decision to dissolve the House.
The House was reinstated by the Supreme Court on February 23.