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Unification of UML and Maoist-Centre: Moves at snail’s pace

By Our Reporter
MC UML

Although the leaders of the CPN-UML and the Maoist Centre had promised to unify their parties immediately after the elections to the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies, the unification process has not made any tangible headway even two months after the elections concluded.
However, leaders of both the parties have been claiming over weeks that the unification process reached the final stage. But still people and the left voters who had cast their votes in favour of them look suspicious about the unification of the two communist parties.
It is widely believed that the unification was delayed as the two parties failed to fianlaise the issue relating to leadership of the party. During their announcement to forge electoral alliance in October last year, the parties had decided that UML chair K P Oli would lead the government and Maoist boss Pushpa Kamal Dahal the party.
But when the UML won almost all seats in which its candidates contested the election to House of Representatives, the UML leaders are not ready to hand over the party leadership to Dahal. Instead Oil has been trying to convince Dahal to accept the post of co-chairman of the party, which the Maoist-Centre is not ready to accept. Even President Bidya Bhandari suggested Oli to hand over party leadership to Dahal, which Oli rejected. Moreover, the recent Nepal visit of Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who indirectly hinted that India wants Dahal to lead the government, has further complicated the unity.
But still the UML and Maoist leaders have been reiterating that the unity between the two parties reached the final stage.
CPN (UML) senior leader Jhalanath Khanal said that left alliance unification process would be concluded soon by resolving ideological and organisational problems with CPN (Maoist Centre).
At a news conference organised at Tribhuvan International Airport today upon his arrival after participating in 29th standing committee of International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) held at Tehran of Iran, leader Khanal expressed the view that a new government would move ahead after initiating a new friendship with India and China.
Similar were the views of the CPN-Maoist Centre leader Janardan Sharma.
Speaking in Surkhet on Tuesday Sharma said that the party unification between the UML and his party was almost finalised with only the formalistaion part left.
As the two parties will be busy in forming the new government next week, the unification is likely to push further away.
Swaraj’s ill-timed visit draws more criticism than appreciation
By Our Reporter
External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj returned home on Friday after wrapping up her two-day visit to Nepal.
However, her visit was dragged into controversy terming as an ill-timed visit. Moreover, it was not clear who had invited her when the process to form a new government was to begin.
When the Foreign Ministry of Nepal was unaware about her visit until a few days before she landed in Kathmandu, it was obvious that she was not invited by the government. It was also evident that she first met waiting Prime Minister K P Oli and enjoyed the dinner thrown for her by the CPN-UML.
Although K P Oli does not hold any government position at present, he held meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Swaraj displaying national flag of Nepal as if he was a minister.
Many noted politicians, including Dr Shekhar Koirala of the Nepali Congress, Dr Baburam Bhattarai of the Naya Shakti Party- Nepal and Narayan Kaji Shrestha of the Maoist Centre termed her Nepal visit as ill-timed.
Dr Koirala said the meeting Swaraj held with the government that was to step down would be meaningless.
It was rumoured that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent Swaraj as his messenger to Oli to prevent the latter from further tilting to China, because the Indian media have been showing Oli as a pro-Chinese leader due to his firm stance during the Indian blockade of 2015/16.
Before flying back to India, Swaraj paid a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari at the Office of the President in Sheetal Niwas.
Earlier, Swaraj had a meeting with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar days.
Prime Minister Deuba also hosted a lunch in honour of Swaraj. Senior leaders of Deuba’s Nepali Congress were among those who attended the launch.
Prior to the meeting with Deuba, Swaraj held a breakfast meeting with CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda at the Hotel Soaltee Crown Plaza.
Similarly, she met Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal chairman UpendraYadav at the hotel and congratulated him on his party’s victory in the elections.

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