Here is this party trying to show its missing strength
KATHMANDU: The CPN-UML has called the first meeting of its National Representatives’ Council in the capital starting Sunday ignoring the greater need to guide the peace process. The jamboree has been called as a show of strength as the final culmination of a three-month long national party strengthening and mobilisation campaign.
The meeting of the NRC, which is the second most powerful body after the General Convention, is meant to test the internal strength, challenges and future course, including its stand on peace and constitution.
Party chief and former prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal said “it will create pressure on other political parties for the attainment of peace and constitution.”
“It will create public pressure for timely completion of peace and constitution writing processes,” Khanal said during a press meet organised at the party headquarters in Balkhu on the eve of a three-day summit.
Leaders say the meeting will contribute to the peace process, bridging the rift caused by what it said ultra-leftist activities of the Maoists and status quo exhibited the Nepali Congress. CPN-UML has urged the Maoists to play a responsible role for the completion of the peace process while the NC has been requested to be constructive by shedding its status-quoist ideology.
The party has claimed that the meeting will examine its organisational strength. “Politically, we held the No 1 position before the Constituent Assembly elections but were ranked the third largest party as a result of some electoral irregularities,” claimed Khanal.
“The meeting will send a message across that UML has the strength to be named No 1 party.” Around 1,000 leaders from home and aboard will attend the event. The party has planned to parade 200,000 cadres in Tundikhel during the inaugural session on Sunday.
After the opening ceremony, leaders will focus on debates on the political, organisational and financial reports presented by the party rank and file and will brainstorm on the party’s future course. Top UML leaders, who were sharply divided after the Butwal General Convention in 2009, appear united in recent months.
Chairman Khanal, senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, KP Sharma Oli, Vice-chairmen Bam Dev Gautam and Ashok Rai, and General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel were seen in the dais in Saturday’s press meet for the first time after the Butwal Convention.
CPN-UML has urged the Rastriya Janamorcha, disqualified Maoist combatants and the Maoist party not to obstruct its cadres from joining the plenum. The government has also been urged to maintain law and order and facilitate the cadres’ movement to the meeting.
Khanal said that the general strike called by the disqualified combatants had obstructed party cadres in Dhading, Makawanpur, Chitwan and some districts in the Gandaki zone. He alleged that it was aimed at affecting the meeting. “We are concerned about the safety of our party cadres attending the meeting.
We urge everyone to call off the strike,” said Khanal. On Saturday, Khanal informed Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leaders of other parties about the strike and possible security challenges.