HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Ongoing Standing Committee meeting of the CPN-UML today decided to firmly back carving out seven federal units based on the principle of “common identity” to respect all communities in a given state.
“The party will be lobbying for carving out seven states based on the principle of common identity,” UML vice chairperson Bidhya Devi Bhandari said at the end of today’s Standing Committee meeting.
She said a central committee meeting held on April 27 had decided to create seven federal units reflecting aspirations of all the communities in the proposed states.
Vice-chairperson Bhandari said the party’s decision to carve out states on basis of common identity would be proposed in the upcoming national-level cadres’ conclave scheduled for June 18-19 in the capital.
However, another dissident vice-chairman Ashok Rai, who submitted a memorandum to the party leadership on Tuesday demanding that states be carved out on a single identity basis, remained absent throughout the Standing Committee meeting and the recently-concluded Central Committee meeting.
Former prime minister and senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said, “We will settle our differences on state restructuring and federalism by June 18.”
Asked about a way out of the political crisis that has emerged following the dissolution of the CA, Nepal said the parties should form a national government based on consensus and led by a non-Maoist party to discuss all alternatives suggested by political quarters.
He said Standing Committee meeting scheduled for Friday would come up with a way out to end the political deadlock.
He said UCPN-Maoist neither wanted to reach a consensus on the formation of joint government, nor did it want to quit power.
Nepal said UML and Nepali Congress would call an all-party meeting in which the Maoists would also be invited. “The Maoist will settle their internal differences by Saturday and we will sit together after that,” he said.
The Standing Committee meeting assured the party’s dissident leaders and cadres that no disciplinary action would be taken against them for their differing views on federalism. A statement issued by Secretary Bishnu Paudel urged all dissident leaders to take part in their respective party committees, put forth their views there and settle disputed issues through a democratic process.
The statement added that cadres had the right to express views on an issue till it was settled democratically.