Ashok Rai, dissident leaders likely to boycott gathering
KATHMANDU, June 17: The CPN-UML leaders have finalized the political report on current political crisis to be presented at the party´s national conclave scheduled to start from Monday in Kathmandu.
The leaders said the report dwells on the issues of state restructuring, dissolution of Constituent Assembly (CA), political crisis following the CA´s demise and also offers solution and suggestions on the party´s immediate and future course of action.
Party Secretary Yubaraj Gyawali said the standing committee meeting on Saturday finalized the political report. Around 500 party representatives from across the country will attend the two-day conclave.
"On state restructuring, the standing committee has decided not to agree on delineation of single ethnic identity-based provinces. We are open to discussing delineation of provinces," Gyawali told Republica. "Besides that, we will also seek suggestions from the party representatives on federal model during the conclave."
While the party leadership is all set to convene the national gathering in the capital, a section of the party rank and file representing Madhesi, ethnic and indigenous communities is likely to boycott the event.
The party´s Vice-chairman Ashok Rai, who leads the dissident leaders, said the dissident leaders will participate in the conclave only if they are allowed to present their views. "Otherwise, I don´t think our friends will attend the function merely as mute spectators," he said. Rai, who has not been attending the party meetings lately, is less optimistic about the party allowing the dissident group to present their views in the gathering.
While a group of influential UML leaders from Madhesi, ethnic and indigenous communities, including Rai, politburo members Prithivi Subba Gurung, Bijay Subba and Ram Chandra Jha, have been pressing the party to adopt ethnic-based federalism, top party leaders seem reluctant to buy their idea.
A leader, who was present at the party´s standing committee meeting, said the chances of the party allowing dissident leaders to present their views in the gathering are very slim.
Meantime, 24 UML district chiefs, who have gathered in the capital to press both the dissident faction and the party leadership to seek an amicable solution, have been pressing the dissident leaders to participate in the gathering.
UML´s Bhojpur district chief Sherdhan Rai, who is coordinating the campaign, said they are pressing the disgruntled group to participate in the gathering. The leaders have already assured them that the party will not take any action against the dissident group and address their concerns.
Another district chief, however, found Ashok Rai´s condition for participation in the gathering illogical. "Who can stop him from presenting his views in the gathering? He is one of the three vice chairmen of the party. This shows he does not intend to seek solution from within the party," said the leader.
Meanwhile, the party´s standing committee expelled General Secretary of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Ang Kaji Sherpa, who is also the assistant secretary of the party´s Solukhumbu district chapter, as party member.
The party took the decision as Sherpa, while addressing the mass gathering of UCPN (Maoist) on Friday, had fiercely criticized UML leaders.