KATHMANDU, March 17: Amid deepening rift within the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the Madhav Nepal-led faction of the party is holding a two-day national gathering beginning today.
Yogesh Bhattarai, a key leader belonging to the faction, said that at least 2,000 leaders and cadres of the party are expected to join in the national gathering being organized at the Sanepa-based Heritage Garden.
During the meeting, the party's senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal will present a political report on the widening rift in the party and his faction's strategy for the coming days.
The Madhav Nepal-led faction is holding its national gathering at a time when the party appears to be headed for a split due to factional feud.
The CPN (UML) is currently divided into two factions - one led by KP Sharma Oli and the other by Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Despite strong objection from the Oli-led faction, the rival faction is holding its national gathering.
On Tuesday evening, Ishwar Pokharel, general secretary of the party, warned of taking disciplinary action against those attending the national gathering being organized by the rival faction.
Pokharel asked the Madhav Nepal-led faction to cancel the national gathering scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, calling it unauthorized.
However, the Madhav Nepal-led faction set a precondition that Oli withdraw the ‘unilateral’ decisions taken on Friday, including the induction of 23 CPN (Maoist Center) members into the central committee.
The CPN (UML) which was revived by the Supreme Court verdict last week, is on the verge of a vertical split as the two factions are at loggerheads over a host of issues.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Oli and senior leader Nepal held a meeting at the party's headquarters in Dhumbarahi to resolve their differences and avoid the possible split of the party. Alleging that Chairman Oli had shown no sign of reconciliation, the Nepal-led faction had decided to organize the national gathering of the party’s leaders and cadres as planned before in Lalitpur.