HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The CPN-UML Central Committee meeting today directed its leaders and cadres not to go against party policy by participating in “secret or open” gatherings where political discussions are held.
The directive is aimed at some dissident leaders, including Vice-chairman Ashok Rai, who boycotted the 17th Central Committee meeting that concluded today. The CC pledged to come up with its official stand on issues of state restructuring and federalism after the national-level cadres conclave slated for June 18 and 19.
Despite the party leadership’s pledge to discuss issues of state restructuring and federalism, Rai, Prithvi Subba Gurung, Ram Chandra Jha, Kiran Gurung, Rajendra Shrestha and Dal Bahadur Rana Magar did not attend the CC meetings.
These leaders have been accusing the central leadership of paying only lip service to the concerns of Janajatis, indigenous, Madhesi and Dalit communities. They have even threatened to launch a separate ethnicity-based political outfit.
According to CC member Jagannath Khatiwoda, party Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal told Vice-chairman had asked Rai to put forth his views at the CC.
Rai told the party chairman that he would not consider launching a new political party as the UML was the only “democratic and inclusive party” in the country. “But I will remain inactive in the party until the issues we have raised are addressed,” Khanal quoted Rai as telling him.
A UML source said the next Central Committee meeting may consider taking disciplinary action against those leaders if they did not mend their ways and continued to defy the party’s directives.
Speaking at today’s meeting, senior leader K P Sharma Oli, according to Khatiwoda, criticised national and international elements for making designs to break the UML as well as encouraging some ethnic leaders of the party to go into ethnicity and caste-based politics.
“Some of our friends harbour the illusion that ethnicity and caste-based politics will help address their socio-economic problems,” Khatiwoda quoted Oli as saying.
Oli stressed the need to maintain communal harmony and national unity while raising ethnic and caste-based issues through democratic process.
Khatiwoda said that the party would come up with its firm stand on state restructuring and federalism based on feedback from the planned national-level cadres meeting. The party has maintained that the country must go for federalism respecting the aspirations of all communities.