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Nepal's indigenous leaders prepare to quit party

Publication Date : 17-08-2012


Disgruntled Janajati (indigenous) leaders from the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) are preparing to quit the party en masse for the formation of a new political force, expressing their dissatisfaction over the party's position on multiple-identity based federalism.

Janajati leaders involved in the new party formation process said their formal call for resignation will come by the end of August.

"We are in the process of changing the course of a river and the effects will be seen within a couple of weeks," said UML Central Committee member Ajambar Rai Kangmang.

According to Kangmang, the dissidents are planning to formally announce their quitting the party by organising a national gathering of around three dozen Janajati leaders from across the country.

However, UML Janajati leaders are divided on whether to quit right away and form a new party or continue an intra-party struggle for the sake of single-identity based federalism.

UML Vice-chairman Ashok Rai and politburo members Rajendra Shrestha, Bijay Subba and Rakam Chemjong are in favour of forming a new political force while a faction of leaders including Prithivi Subba Gurung, Ram Chandra Jha and Dal Bahadur Rana still believe that an intra-party struggle is the way to ensure identity and inclusion.

"Even if the party addresses the issues of identity and inclusion, I will not come back to UML. Some friends may return to the party but we are for the formation of a new political force," said Rai, speaking at a programme in the capital, Kathmandu.

He claimed that the idea of ensuring single-identity based federalism was outdated in the present context.

Janajati leaders and the UML leadership are odds over forms of identity. The Janajatis are against the party line of multiple-identity based federalism. Along with Janajati intellectuals, Rai and other Janajati leaders had vowed to form a new political force to advocate for single-identity based federalism in the third week of July.


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