BARDIBAS, Sept 11: Factional infighting in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has spread to its lower echelons as the party struggles to contain the widespread discontent that started with the appointment of office bearers at the center, provinces and districts.
At least half a dozen cadres were injured, one of them seriously, when two factions of the ruling NCP clashed over the appointment of the party’s district committee members in Bardibas on Tuesday, police said.
The incident occurred during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly appointed members of the party’s Siraha and Saptari district chapters at a community hall. Leaders present said the clash erupted after Prabhu Sah, the party’s Province 2 in charge, pressed on with the oath-taking ceremony amid reservations from office bearers including district presidents and secretaries.
The dissident faction, which had demanded postponement of the ceremony citing dissatisfaction over the appointment, stormed into the venue and forcefully dragged Sah out of the hall.
Devnath Yadav, a provincial committee member, and Madhusudan Yadav, a youth leader, had sustained injuries after police resorted to baton charge to bring the clash under control.
Tuesday’s incident is the latest in a series of leadership disputes that rocked the party since the NCP secretariat unilaterally appointed members for party committee amid widespread dissatisfaction. None of the eight districts in Province 2 have been able to give full shape to the committee due to membership dispute.
Mani Thapa, chief of the party’s cultural department, said that a similar dispute was hindering unification process at various other districts across the country. The party remains embroiled in bitter disputes at the center where a faction led by senior leader Madhav Nepal is accusing chairman KP Oli of cornering them.
After he was demoted to fourth position in party hierarchy in one of the biggest post-merger realignment, Nepal on August 20 had registered a note of dissent asking Oli to choose between the post of prime minister and party chairman. He further accused Oli of grabbing the reins of the party and the government by undermining party’s values, democracy, rules, regulations, and procedures.
The factional disputes along the party line is expected to further delay the final legs of unification process.