KATHMANDU, Sept 24: Dissident politicians of CPN-UML say they will formally quit the party on October 4 accusing the leadership of rebuffing their demand on naming and delineating provinces based on single-ethnic identity in new federal set up.
CPN-UML Central Committee member Ajambar Rai Kangmang said a group of central level leaders including CPN-UML vice-chairman Ashok Rai, Ram Chandra Jha, Bijay Subba, Rakam Chemjong, Rajendra Shrestha and Rijwan Ansari, among other leaders would quit the party.
According to Kangmang, they would announce their resignation from the party at public function attended by a ´large numbers of party rank and files´.
"October 4 will be a historic day marking the emancipation of marginalized communities from political slavery," Kangmang told Republica. He claimed that the day would be the beginning of something new as a large number CPN-UML cadres were eagerly waiting for the day to quit the party. "Once we make the announcement in the capital the trend of renouncing UML will be like opening of floodgates across the country."
The dissidents from the CPN-UML have also been holding negotiations with disgruntled groups from other parties including Nepali Congress (NC) and the two Maoist parties.
Leaders from Madhesi, ethnic and marginalized communities from various political parties have been lobbying their leadership to stand for the model of state restructuring based on single-ethnic identity.
Identifying themselves as ´the forward-looking group of the CPN-UML, the dissidents have been forming district chapters parallel to the mother party´s committees in over 30 districts in a bid to organize the supporters of the ethnicity-based federal model.
As CPN-UML dissidents are all set to quit the party, disgruntled leaders cutting across party lines have been busying themselves to give a final shape to a new party to push forward their demands.
While they have already proposed a name -- Federal Socialist Party -- the leaders are working on the would-be party´s manifesto, statute and political programs.
"On October 4, we will quit the UML and the process to form a new government will largely depend on the negotiations with leaders from other political parties," said Ansari. According to him, efforts were being made to formulate the proposed party´s policies that would be acceptable for the leaders from various political parties to join the new organization.
"If the issues related to ideology and political programs are finalized among the leaders cutting across party lines by October 4, the announcement of new party may take place within couple of days after that," explained Ansari.
A group of influential CPN-UML leaders including Prithivi Subba Gurung, Kiran Gurung and Dal Bahadur Rana Magar have lately decided not to quit the party. They changed their position mainly after the party decided to stand for a federal model based on multiethnic identity. They argued that it was the achievement of their movement to convince the party establishment for identity-based federalism and that they will keep on pressing the parties for more.
However, Kangmang is optimistic that the three leaders would eventually join the process of forming the new party because the hope of the team led by Gurung has been once again dashed with the major political parties´ latest decision not to reinstate the Constituent Assembly (CA). Apart from single-ethnic identity based federalism, another major demand is to revive the CA.