Prime Minister (PM) and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli has proposed to the CPN (Maoist Center) to conclude the unification process before his India visit even as the parties are scheduled to announce unification on April 22.
Oli's India visit has yet to be formally announced but preparations are on to start it from April 6.
A meeting of Maoist Center on Saturday has decided to conclude unification as soon as possible. But the proposal of Oli has yet to be formally discussed inside UML.
The parties had earlier decided to announce unification on April 22 to mark the establishment of the first communist party in Nepal around seven decades ago.
The joint task forces former for political and organizational work for unification have yet to finish their work. The first draft of the political report has been prepared but discussion on that has yet to be done.
Work of the organizational task force has been affected after many of the members became ministers, UML leader and member of the task force Surendra Pandey told Setopati.
Meeting of both the task forces are being held on Sunday with PM Oli wishing to conclude unification before his India visit.
There are guesses within both the parties as to why PM Oli wants to hastily conclude unification before the India visit.
"PM may have wanted to complete unification soon to be perceived as strong in India," a UML leader said. "He possibly wants to send a message that he is not just a leader of a coalition commanding two-third majority but also a chairman of a big party."
Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal concurred. "I cannot say officially. I guess he wants to go there more as a chairman of unified party than a leader of a coalition commanding two-third majority," Bhusal answered when asked why PM Oli wants to hastily conclude unification before the India visit.
A UML leader close to Oli said he may have been in haste for unification also as the party organizations are almost idle in lack of completion of unification. "Conclusion of unification process will send a good message in Delhi. But unification needs to be completed soon also to make the unified party active," the leader added.
A UML leader, however, said it will be difficult to register the unified party with the Election Commission despite all the urgency shown by PM Oli.
The first draft of political report is ready but the organizational task force has yet to agree on the type of organizational structure from the grassroots to the central level.
Maoist Center feels that it will be difficult to unify the organizations of two parties on a 60/40 proportion as used while distributing tickets during the election. "We have proposed to create structures from the grassroots to the center on the basis of equality. UML leaders have yet to speak on that," a Maoist leader said.
Both the parties agree that at least the standing and central committees of the two parties must unify before announcing unification and registration at the EC.
But there has been no detailed discussion on the size of central committee and the proportion of representation from the two parties. The parties will have to decide on the name of the leaders to be taken to the committees after agreeing on the proportion for sharing.
The issue looks particularly tricky between the Oli and Madhav Kumar Nepal factions inside UML with both looking to include as many leaders from their respective factions as possible.
It will not be too difficult to form politburo and standing committees if the central committee is formed as there is practice of limiting politburo committee to one-third the size of central committee, and standing committee one-third of politburo committee.
But the parties will face a huge challenge to decide on the names of leaders to include in the central committee.