It took nine long months since its 9th National convinces for the ruling CPN (UML) to formally allocate work responsibilities among its office-bearers, which took place last Friday. However, the party's senior leader and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is yet to be assigned with any particular responsibility.
The party struggled for a long period to settle the issue of sharing of work responsibilities but could not materialize it as the leaders themselves were sharply divided in two parallel factions—one led by party Chairman KP Oli and another by party senior leader Nepal.
The dispute simmering inside the party spilled out after the split in the party's sister wing— the Youth Association of Nepal (YAN). The team Nepal had been taking an exception to the appointment of Niru Pal as the chief of YAN reasoning that bypass of Dilu Panta, who is supposed to be senior than Pal, itself was a ploy to further corner the minority by the party's establishment faction.
However, the party establishment faction was irked by the statements made by leader Nepal while addressing a parallel meeting of the YAN in the capital city. Leader Nepal is accused of terming YAN a gang of goons, red sandalwood smugglers and extortionists while a parallel gathering of the YAN held in Hetauda passed a formal motion in condemnation of leader Nepal and sought action against his 'unruly and anti-party' remarks. But, so far, the party has taken no official decision to initiate action against leader Nepal. It is because the team Nepal faction has a sizable portion in the party though no majority.
The entire CPN (UML) party rank and file's perspective on country's socio-political ideology, philosophy and understanding is not fundamentally different but what raises concerns of all is the ego clash among the leaders that may paralyze the party if the top leaders fail to reconcile. But, the Oli factor or his will to fully control the party as the chairman is a matter of serious consideration.
In the meantime, the implicit hostility in the CPN (UML) is likely to jeopardize the ongoing constitution writing process. Analysts believe that Madhav Kumar Nepal and the team has taken comparatively a softer stance to deal with the UCPN (Maoist)-led alliance while the Oli faction is too rigid to accommodate the ideas of the former rebels in the new constitution.