Kathmandu, April 1: The ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) on Thursday suspended even the ordinary membership of its leaders Ghanshyam Bhusal and Surendra Pandey, accusing them of carrying out anti-party activities.
In two separate letters issued to party leaders Bhusal and Pandey, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli said they had been suspended for six months.
In a letter sent to Bhusal, Oli said that the action has been taken against him as the party was not satisfied by his clarification for his “anti-party activities”.
Chairman Oli also said that it is Bhusal’s last chance to correct himself.
In the letter, Chairman Oli accused leaders Bhusal and Pandey of promoting factional politics within the party by holding “unauthorized” gatherings of the party.
Oli’s decision to suspend Bhusal and Pandey comes four days after he took similar actions against senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal.
Bhusal and Pandey were asked to furnish clarification by the party after they also attended a national gathering organized by the Madhav Nepal-led faction last week.
Even though they participated in the national gathering organized by the Madhav Nepal-led faction, they joined the parliamentary party meeting called by Chairperson Oli last week. Despite that, Oli suspended them for six months as he found their clarifications “unsatisfactory”.
The two factions led by KP Sharma Oli and Madhav Kumar Nepal are at loggerheads over a host of intraparty issues.
Miffed at the Oli-led faction’s unilateral actions, the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction has already held a national gathering of party cadres and leaders in Kathmandu while it shunned the party’s parliamentary party meeting and central committee meeting called at the convenience of the rival faction. The Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction has also already formed the party’s parallel committees across the country.
The CPN-UML, which was revived after the Supreme Court’s verdict to invalidate the then Nepal Communist Party born out of the merger between the then CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) in 2018, has witnessed a serious rift within the party as the Oli-led faction is taking actions one after another against the leaders of the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction accusing them of being involved in factional politics.
On March 12, the Oli-led faction nominated 23 new members to the party’s Central Committee (CC). A meeting of the party’s CC members close to Oli made a decision to nominate 23 former Maoist leaders who chose to join the UML as CC members.
The Oli-led faction has sought clarification from the leaders belonging to the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction for getting ‘involved in factional politics by going against the party’s interests’. However, the rival faction has said that the party is facing trouble due to Oli’s growing hegemony.
The Oli-led faction has taken a series of actions against the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction which was earlier taking side with the Dahal-led faction when the Nepal Communist Party existed until the Supreme Court’s verdict to invalidate the NCP.
Despite strong warnings and threats from Chairperson KP Sharma Oli, the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction has continued its parallel activities in recent weeks. With the growing squabbling between the two factions, the ruling CPN-UML is on the verge of a split.