The faction of CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli has got chief ministers (CM) in all four provinces it got as per the agreement with CPN (Maoist Center).
UML got CMs in Province 1, 3, 4, and 5 and Maoist Center in Province 6 and 7 as per the agreement between the two parties in the left alliance that has majority in six out of the seven provinces.
Leaders close to Oli have been elected parliamentary party leader in all four provinces that UML got. Sher Dhan Rai now will be CM of Province 1, Dor Mani Paudel in Province 3, Prtihvi Subba Gurung in Province 4 and Shankar Pokharel in Province 5 after being elected parliamentary party leader in their respective provinces.
Leaders from Madhav Kumar Nepal faction were contenders for the top post in province 1 and 3. But Bhim Acharya and Ashta Laxmi Shakya were defeated in the election for parliamentary party leader in the respective provinces.
Standing committee member Pokharel, a member of Oli’s core team, was already elected parliamentary party leader of Province 5 unopposed and Prithvi Subba Gurung has also been elected unopposed in Province 4 after Kiran Gurung, also from the Oli faction but nearer to Bam Dev Gautam than Oli, gave up his claim in the eleventh hour Sunday.
UML had reached agreement with Maoist Center to make Pokharel CM of Province 5. But the post was up for grabs in other provinces. While no one from Nepal faction was in race in Province 4, Acharya and Shakya were in contention in province 1 and 3 respectively.
The party had decided candidates for National Assembly and even mayor for metropolitan and sub metropolitan cities during the local election through the standing committee. But Oli shrewdly decided to opt for election in case of parliamentary party leader in the provinces as both Acharya and Shakya are standing committee members.
Acharya and Shakya consequently were defeated. The Oli faction engineered victory in Province 1 despite the Nepal faction havig a clear majority in the province. Rajendra Pandey was considered the contender in Province 3 from the Oli faction and nobody talked about Paudel, who is neither a central committee member or a former minister, even a day before the election for parliamentary party leader.
Paudel, who had chaired the first meeting of the provincial assembly in the province as the senior most member, was thought to be in race for speaker. But Pandey, who had switched camps to recently join Oli faction from Nepal’s, was sidelined with Oli claiming he has not given words for CM to anyone. Pandey did not even file nominations after Oli did not give green signal to him and Paudel unexpectedly filed nominations and won the election.
The Nepal faction is becoming weaker in recent times. Other leaders are not in a position to challenge Oli.
Oli has been solely authorized to take decision even on party unification with Maoist Center and management of leaders of both the parties. Oli, who has established himself as the most powerful leader in national politics, is strengthening his grip even inside his party. He has demonstrated that in selection of CMs from his party.