KATHMANDU, March 28: Efforts to conclude the proposed unification between CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center) have come to an abrupt halt with the two parties driving hard bargain to secure a good deal in the unified left party.
The two parties in the ruling coalition which last month struck a framework deal to form a unified Communist Party of Nepal have ironed out differences on ideological and political issues.
They are also close to consensus on a range of other vital issues including modality to integrate organizational setups of the two parties.
But the two sides are still poles apart on issue pertaining to sharing of power. While the UML has offered 30 percent stake to the Maoist Center in the unified party, the latter has demanded equal stake.
"We won't settle for anything less than a fifty-fifty deal. Otherwise there won't be unification," Maoist leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi told media on Tuesday.
The dispute between the UML and Maoist Center, which are also partners in the left alliance, came to the fore after Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that the merger would happen only under respectable terms and conditions.
Addressing party student leaders during an orientation in Bhaktapur on Monday, Dahal said that "fifty-fifty share" in the whole party setup was his precondition for merger.
"Both parties will have equal status in the new party. It's crucial for merger," student leaders speaking on the occasion said.
Dahal's remarks, according to leaders, came a day after his meeting with Prime Minister KP Oli when the latter had offered 30 percent stake to the Maoists. Dahal had reportedly remained quiet during the meeting.
"The timing of the chairman's remark makes it all the more important. It has for now ended the possibility of merger by April-end as has been planned," said Mani Thapa, a Maoist leader.
Leaders working to develop the unified party's statute and organizational modality said that over 75 percent of the work has been completed.