KATHMANDU, March 30: The disciplinary action taken by CPN-UML Chairman K P Oli against the party's senior senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and Vice Chairman Bhim Rawal has pushed the ruling party on the verge of vertical split.
Although senior leader Nepal and Vice Chairman Rawal have publicly announced to reject the decisions taken by Chairman Oli on Monday, leaders close to Nepal-led faction have said that they have already reached to a conclusion that it is now difficult to stay in the same party as Chairman Oli has taken every measures possible to corner and humiliate leaders close to their faction. "Senior Nepal was clear that any decisions to take action against him and his colleagues in the party would force them to form a new party. In fact, the exercise to form parallel committees of the party from center to the local bodies has already started," said a senior leader close to Nepal.
The Nepal-led faction has already expedited negotiations with CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other leftist party leaders including Mohan Baidya and CP Gajurel to discuss their future political course. "It is clear that Chairman Oli wants to flush out Nepal and his supporters from the party so that he would be able to run the party on his personal whims. Our leadership has understood this fact," the leader close to Nepal further said.
The Nepal-led faction has formed a parallel party committee across the country after Oli continued taking unilateral decisions of the party. Expressing serious reservation over the activities that promote factionalism, Chairman Oli had earlier sought clarifications from senior leaders Nepal, Rawal, Ghanashyam Bhusal and Surendra Pandey.
As Nepal and Rawal made several allegations against Oli instead of responding to the specific charges made against them in their clarification letter, Chairman Oli had announced in public that both Nepal and Rawal would face the party's disciplinary action. The intra-party rift has reached its peak after Chairman Oli on Monday decided to suspend general membership of Nepal and Rawal for six months as disciplinary action.
Although both Nepal and Rawal have announced to reject the decision, the Nepal-led faction appears to have limited options to counter the decision taken by Chairman Oli, given that Oli now commands majority in all party's committees. In his facebook post, senior leader Nepal has said that the decisions taken unilaterally by Chairman Oli on March 12 were invalid and that the self-declared Chairman of the party's General Convention Organizing Committee does not have authority to take action against anyone.
Senior leader Nepal has said that he will reject the disciplinary action taken by Prime Minister Oli, but he has not revealed what he would do next. Nepal has urged the party's leaders and cadres not to be disappointed and always stand against all forms of extremism, autocratic decisions and wrong tendency harboured by the party's leadership.
Sources said Chairman Oli has again sought clarifications from Bhusal and Pandey after they failed to submit their clarification letters. Chairman Oli is reportedly mulling to suspend party membership of these leaders too if their clarification letters did not show any sign of reconciliation and regret over their actions in the past.