Maoist Centre for party chair if Oli made PM

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jan 3, 2018-

CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders have urged the party leadership to ensure that Pushpa Kamal Dahal becomes a powerful chief of the unified party if CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli is appointed the prime minister.

Most leaders who spoke during the headquarters meeting of the Maoist Centre on Tuesday asked the party leadership to secure a respectable share in the new party as well as the new government.

With a section of UML leaders advocating joint-leadership, Maoist members are vocal about Dahal’s full-fledged command after the parties unite. Maoist leaders argue that as the larger party in the alliance the UML should get to choose whether it wants the PM’s post or the unified party’s chair.

Maoist leader Devendra Poudel said after the meeting that his party wants full-fledged leadership of the unified force if the UML goes for the PM’s post and vice-versa.

Leaders of the allies agree that managing top leaders on both sides in the unified force has become a serious bone of contention. While some UML leaders are against entrusting Dahal solely with the party leadership, there are also questions about the fate of two former prime ministers and UML bosses Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal. A meeting of the party unification coordination committee, which is expected to sort the issues, is yet to be convened.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Dahal briefed that his meeting with Oli could not happen due to the latter’s ill health. Dahal had scheduled the extended meeting of the party headquarters for Monday afternoon but it was deferred since the two leaders were unable to meet on the day. The one-to-one meeting did not take place on Tuesday as well but the Maoist Centre meeting took place as Dahal wanted to brief his party colleagues on the developments. 

There was no serious obstacle to merger except some organisational matters, said Maoist Centre Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, adding that things would be clear once the two leaders meet.

Failure to hold a meeting of the coordination committee three weeks after the poll results has provided room for speculations. “Most probably, the two leaders will meet on Wednesday and finalise the organisational structure,” said Poudel.

During a telephone conversation with Dahal on Tuesday morning, Oli also expressed his concern at the delay and told the Maoist chief that the party unification process should be expedited.

Meanwhile, the Maoist Centre has formed a nine-member task force led by Ram Bahadur Thapa to facilitate the merger process. Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Giriraj-mani Pokhrel, Matrika Yadav, Shakti Basnet, Lekhraj Bhatta, Sabitri Kumar Kafle, Devendra Poudel and Sunil Manandhar are the members.

Another task force led by Amik Sherchan has been formed to probe “intra-party betrayal” during the federal parliamentary and provincial assembly elections. Members of the second panel include Leelamani Pokhrel, Ganesh Sah, Hitraj Pande and Rekha Sharma.

Published: 03-01-2018 07:49

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