Weak, confused and vacillating, what will Madhav Kumar Nepal faction of UML do?

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The deadline to form a new government garnering with the alliance of two or more parties expires at 9 pm tomorrow. Nepali Congress and Maoist Center are intensifying meetings and reaching out to every party to secure majority support on their side. Congress is also trying to take the Madhav Nepal faction into confidence. 

But Nepal faction itself seems confused and vacillating. First they threatened to resign en masse, then they changed their decision to remain absent in Parliament on May 10 confidence vote. Now everyone is watching what they will do: support K P Oli or stand for Congress-Maoist Center coalition. 

Critics and observers say the Nepal faction has become weak, confused, lacking decision making power mostly during the critical times. They seem to be bargaining with Oli for ‘dignified’ space in UML, they also seem to be negotiating with other political parties to form a new government. 

Instead of being confused, Nepal faction should have come out with a strong political stand earlier, argues Lok Raj Baral, professor of political science. They should not have remained in confusion but acted soon after the Supreme Court reinstated the House on February 23, he added. 

“Either they have to surrender to Oli or act. Uncertainty only contributes to the credibility loss of the top leaders,” said Baral. Baral mentioned that the inability to decide and take a stand on time is the major weakness of Nepal faction. “Time and tide wait for none. Still, they are in a dilemma which shows their weakness,” he said. 

Critics and observers say the Nepal faction has become weak, confused, lacking decision making power mostly during the critical times. 

Political analyst Hari Roka attributes the weak status of Nepal faction to lack of clarity in their principles, plans and goals. But he thinks that the way Nepal faction revolted against Oli is a big thing. According to Roka, Nepal faction has to first ensure their own political future and safety before taking the decision to support other opposition parties. “Other opposition parties should ensure that the Nepal faction won’t be betrayed, and their future political stand and course will be safe, if they are ready to sacrifice,” he said. 

Many ascribe the indecisiveness of Nepal faction to the weak leadership of Madhav Kumar Nepal, who served as a General Secretary of CPN-UML for over a decade. Roka thinks it is natural. “If a leader loses political position and power, supporters start fleeing. That will be the case with KP Oli once he loses the post of PM. What has happened with Nepal will happen with Oli tomorrow,” Roka said. 

Professor Baral argues to the contrary. Leadership has to act on time, he said. “Time matters.” “The grip of the leaders in politics will fade out soon if not acted on time. A politician should be able to take a strong decision on time,” he added.