KATHMANDU, July 22: Amid mounting pressure within the party to save party unity, CPN-UML Chairman K P Oli has softened his stance toward the party's lawmakers who casted their votes in favor of Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba in parliament.
Addressing a function organized in the capital to mark Pushpa Lal Memorial Day in the capital on Thursday, Chairman Oli, who earlier said that the 'crime' the 22 lawmakers including senior leader Nepal had committed was 'unpardonable', announced on Thursday to grant 'amnesty to those who tread the wrong path. "Amnesty has been granted to whatever happened in the past. Do come. Let's work together now," announced Oli.
Chairman Oli on Wednesday sought clarifications from the party's lawmakers casting their votes in favor of Deuba against the party's official decision. Leaders close to Oli had maintained that the clarification was a part of the preparation to expel them from the party's general membership.
Oli's change of tone on Thursday, however, comes amid preparations of the rival faction leaders trying to form a new political party. Party insiders say Oli has lately been under pressure to give concessions to the rival faction led by senior leader Nepal as eight lawmakers said to be close to Oli voted for Deuba. A section of leaders close to Nepal have even claimed that they could have majority central members and parliamentary party members even to oust Oli from the party's leader.
Oli has already offered the post of number 2 chairman to senior leader Nepal as the second-rung leaders have put pressure on him to save party unity. However, senior leader Nepal has hinted at forming a new party, saying that no one can stay put in the same place even after facing constant humiliation. Addressing a function in the capital on Thursday, leader Nepal said that he was constantly subjected to humiliation by party chairman Oli despite his huge contribution to build the UML as a party.
In his nearly one hour long speech, Oli reiterated that the UML was still invincible in the country and that the party has strong presence in all three tiers of the government even as he was ousted through the apex court's mandamus from the post of prime minister. "UML is the main political force in the country. It is the main political course of the democratic movement," he said.