KATHMANDU, March 29: The ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), has suspended even the ordinary membership of its senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and vice chairperson Bhim Rawal, accusing them of carrying out anti-party activities.
In two separate letters issued to senior leader Nepal and Vice-chairperson Rawal, the party said that they had been suspended for six months.
"This action has been taken as the party was not satisfied by our clarifications for your anti-party activities. This is your last chance to correct yourself," reads the letter adding," The suspension period can be reduced if you revise your opinions and correct your anti-party activities. But, if you take it as a weakness of the party and continue anti-party activities, the party can take further actions against you even during the suspension period."
In the letter signed by UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, the party has accused leaders Nepal and Rawal of promoting factional politics within the party by holding "unauthorized" gatherings of party.
Oli's decision to suspend party leaders Nepal and Rawal comes at a time when the intraparty rift within the party is at its peak owing to factional feud.
Late last week, leaders Nepal and Rawal skipped the party's parliamentary party meeting called by Chairperson Oli for a second time, taking strong exceptions to the "unilateral decisions" taken by Oli on several intraparty issues.
However, Ghanshyam Bhusal, Yogesh Bhattarai and Jhalanath Khanal, who are close to leader Nepal, joined the parliamentary party meeting held in Baluwatar.
Meanwhile, leader Rawal said that he is yet to receive the letter dispatched by Chairperson Oli.
"I am now going through the news reports that action has been taken against me. I can tell you something once I get the letter," Rawal told Republica over the phone on Monday afternoon.
The two factions led by KP Sharma Oli and Madhav Kumar Nepal are at loggerheads over a host of intraparty issues.
The Oli-led faction has taken a series of actions against the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction which was earlier taking side with the Dahal-led faction when the Nepal Communist Party existed until the Supreme Court's verdict to invalidate the NCP.
Despite strong warnings and threats from Chairperson KP Sharma Oli, the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction has continued its parallel activities in recent weeks. With the growing squabbling between the two factions, the ruling CPN-UML is on the verge of a split.