Oli and Dahal are not on same page on leadership and party ideology

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Two leaders choose not to brief the Party Unity Coordination Committee on their latest round of talks on party merger

Feb 3, 2018-Power sharing and party ideology remain the sticking points hindering the merger between CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), with the top leaders of the two parties hesitant to broach the issues, a Maoist party source says.

In the hours-long private exchanges that UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have had so far, it seems they have only talked past each other while losing focus on the crux of the matter, much to the frustration of the Party Unity Coordination Committee.

At Thursday’s meeting of the PUCC held at Oli’s Balkot residence, the top leaders did not even brief the committee about their latest meeting, which was held after a gap of nearly two weeks.

And when the committee member, Narayan Kaji Shrestha from the Maoist Centre, inquired the leaders, he got the terse reply that “the talks is going in a positive direction”.

The PUCC has decided to give Oli and Dahal a few more rounds of meetings to finalise the outstanding issues before it forms the necessary task forces to facilitate the party merger, Shrestha told the Post after Thursday’s meeting.

A Maoist Centre source says that the UML wants the Maoist Centre to accept the former’s ideological line of the “People’s Multi-party Democracy” by forgoing Maoism. The UML is also reportedly unwilling to accept Dahal as the chairman of the unified party, arguing that with the 70:30 power sharing deal the Maoist Centre

chairman cannot head the new party with lesser share.  

Maoist Centre leader Barshaman Pun says it could take some more time for the left alliance parties to become a single political force.

“The two top leaders are yet to finalise the issues of leadership and ideology. The unification process will proceed after those issues are decided,” he said.

UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali says it is natural for the merger process to take time because of the preparations it needs.

The merger should be such that there are no troubles in the future, he said.

Some Maoist leaders are of the view that the party unification is impossible unless the UML is ready to give the party a respectable share. They say that the UML is applying “delay tactics” to pressure the Maoist Centre.

Maoist Centre Chairman Dahal has been claiming that the party unity is inevitable and imminent.

“We will finalise the unification within a few days,” he declared during a function in Mahabharat Rural Municipality, Kavre, on Thursday.

Published: 03-02-2018 08:29

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