KATHMANDU, August 14: Two key leaders close to the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction of the CPN-UML - Surendra Pandey and Bhim Acharya - 'secretly' flew to New Delhi on Saturday.
Sources close to Madhav Kumar Nepal said the two leaders did not hold any consultation with him prior to their departure to New Delhi. "This is not a pre-scheduled visit. We are surprised to learn that they have flown to New Delhi," said a leader close to Nepal, asking not to be named.
Although the two leaders have remained close to senior leader Nepal for a long time, both Pandey and Acharya have maintained a softer stance toward Oli in recent days. Sources claimed that their trip to New Delhi is aimed at convincing former Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal to sever his ties with Nepal and stay with the establishment faction of the party led by KP Oli.
Khanal, who is currently recovering in Delhi after a successful kidney transplant, had earlier appealed to UML lawmakers close to him to vote against Oli during the vote of no-confidence motion in parliament. He has been a key ally of senior leader Nepal as they fought against Oli’s ‘unconstitutional’ move to dissolve parliament.
The ‘secret’ visit comes amid preparations of senior leader Nepal to form a new political party after Oli paid no heed to the demands put forth by his faction. Pandey and Acharya are a few key leaders deciding to shift their allegiance to Oli in the wake of party split.