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Embattled Nepal PM Oli Calls Parliamentary Party Meet As Rivals Plan Own Show Of Strength

Nepal PM Oli had warned to take disciplinary action against those taking part in Madhav Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal's two-day national cadre meet

Nepal PM Oli

Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has called for a parliamentary party meeting of the ruling CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) ) on March 18, as the rift between the two warring factions of the party widened. Nepal PM Oli's parliament meet call comes after Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal organised two-day national cadres meet on March 17 where around 2,000 leaders and cadres representing all wings of the party were expected to participate. 

As per Bishal Bhattarai (member of Nepal Communist Party and party's chief whip), the CPN UML parliamentary meet will take place at Baluwatar, the official residence of the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairperson of the party. Bhattarai said that all the party leaders who won elections with the symbol 'Sun' have been invited to the meeting. 

'Disciplinary action against those taking part in national cadres meet'

Before the start of his rival group's national gathering, Nepal PM Oli had warned to take disciplinary action against those taking part in Madhav Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal's two-day national cadre meet. Still, the rival faction said they would go ahead with the program as planned.

Lashing out at Nepal and Khanal's 'anti-party' activities, PM Oli had said that he heard they are going to organise a national cadres meeting on Thursday where they will also pass a report. I can no longer tolerate anti-party activities.

Apart from Nepal PM Oli, CPN UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel had also directed the party leaders and cadres not to attend the factional gathering, arguing that the UML had not organised any such event.

Rift intensified after demand for Nepal PM Oli's resignation

The rift between the CPN-UML faction intensified after the rivals Madhav Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal demanded Nepal PM Oli take back his March 12 decisions that deprived leaders close to them of key responsibilities in the party.

The central committee meeting dominated by the Oli-led faction on March 12 nominated 23 new members to the party’s Central Committee (CC). It also nominated 23 former Maoist leaders who joined the UML as CC members.

Nepal PM Oli's dissolution of the House of Representatives in December sparked a political crisis in the country. It led to Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda"-led CPN-Maoist Centre (MC) to split from the ruling NCP. Nepal and Khanal had also sided with Prachanda in seeking Oli's resignation as Prime Minister.

However, the Supreme court of Nepal last month reinstated the lower house of Parliament. Recently, the Supreme Court also nullified CPN-MC's merger with CPN-UML which worsened the political scenario of Nepal. The CPN-MC's and CPN-UML had merged in May 2018 to form a unified Nepal Communist Party following the victory of their alliance in the 2017 general elections. 

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