Factional feud could hit UML in Kathmandu pollsA factional feud in the Kathmandu district committee of CPN-UML is likely to affect the party’s performance in the upcoming local level elections.
A factional feud in the Kathmandu district committee of CPN-UML is likely to affect the party’s performance in the upcoming local level elections.
At a time when the whole force should be directed at the polls, the Madhav Nepal faction of the second largest party has accused UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli of trying to keep the committee under his control.
The dispute came to the fore after the Nepal faction feared that its candidates might not be recommended in the elections, including in the top executive posts of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. The Kathmandu District Committee of the party got into a dispute ever since Vice-chairman Krishna Rai took its helm six years ago when the committee had only those close to Chairman Oli. But Rai claims that he was not allowed to hold the district conference.
At a standing committee meeting held on April 3, UML Vice-chairperson and in-charge of Province 3 party committee Asta Laxmi Shakya, who is on Nepal’s side, had asked Chairman Oli to endorse the decision of the provincial committee on managing the mess in the district body, or relieve her of the responsibilities.
Shakya had formed a taskforce under Kashinath Adhikary, joint-in charge of Province 3. It included Arun Nepal, Sanu Kumar Shrestha and Kedar Neupane. The panel had decided to restructure the committee with Krishna Rai as the convener, Basanta Manandhar as the co-convener, Bidhya Sundar Shakya as the secretary and Sarita Neupane as the joint- secretary.
But Rai has been refusing to endorse the committee claiming that the decision was not taken in consensus of the provincial committee of which he was also a member. He cites the party’s statute to claim that the decision must be endorsed by a higher committee—the central committee.
Oli recently unveiled the Local level Election Deployment Committee led by Rai, without including any leader from the Nepal faction and in the absence of province In-charge Shakya.
UML Deputy General Secretary Ghanashyam Bhusal, who is close to party leader Nepal, claimed that Chairman Oli and General Secretary Ishwor Pokhrel should know that creating a mess at the time of the local elections will hamper the party’s performance.
Shakya had questioned why Oli messed up the things that she had settled through the taskforce.
Leaders of the Nepal faction claimed that there could be a parallel committee against the “illegal” team led by Rai if the leadership failed to sort the row urgently. They fear exclusion of leaders and cadres close to Nepal as Rai “won’t recommend them” to run in the local polls.