CPN-UML Vice-chairman Bishnu Paudel and former vice-chairman Bhim Rawal have criticized each other during events organized in Sudur Paschim Province as part of the party’s nationwide Mission Grassroots campaign.
During a training held for cadres on Monday, Paudel criticized Rawal saying he has committed grave mistakes.
“Bhim Rawalji is a leader built by the party, people and cadres. But he has also made some grave mistakes in recent days. He has not worked as per the responsibilities assigned by the party. He has spoken in public against the party’s official decisions. He has said things not in line with the party’s decisions during the local, provincial and House of Representatives elections. Therefore Bhim Rawalji had committed mistakes,” Paudel said. “What I would like to say even today is, if Bhim Rawalji wants to be active in party works realizing his mistakes and weaknesses, then we will welcome him.”
In reply, Rawal said on Tuesday, “I want to ask him [Paudel], what grave mistakes did Bhim Rawal commit? Have I made someone lawmaker who calls the party Satan, or asked to vote on plow [RPP’s election symbol] for 10 years, or asked to vote for 17 people on umbrella [JSP’s election symbol]?”
Paudel had also accused Rawal of not fulfilling the responsibilities given him by the party and of filing candidacy against the party’s chairman.
Responding to those allegations, Rawal said that he has not been given any responsibility by the party lately.
“He [Paudel] has said that I filed candidacy against the chairman, our party believes in competitive democracy. Yesterday Oli and Jhala Nathji contested for chairman, Madhav Nepal and Oliji contested,” Rawal said. “I was also elected vice-chairman securing the most votes through competition. Is it a mistake to even file candidacy against somebody?”
Paudel had said that Rawal also had differences over important decisions taken by the party.
Rawal replied that he has not opposed anything in a way that would be against the party’s interests.
“The accusations he [Paudel] has leveled at me are baseless and misleading. It is natural for cadres to protest when central leaders themselves make inciting statements,” Rawal said.
Paudel is in Sudur Paschim to attend events under the Mission Grassroots campaign while Rawal arrived in Dhangadhi of Kailali after visiting his home district of Achham and Kanchanpur.
Rawal, who had filed candidacy for chairman against KP Sharma Oli during the party’s 10th general convention, was not given ticket during the November 20 election. The party has also not assigned him any official responsibility, including in the Mission Grassroots campaign.
Rawal vented his ire after the party sought clarification from the office-bearers of the party’s Achham district committee who had invited him to events in different parts of the district.
Leaders and cadres who support Rawal even chanted slogans during a Mission Grassroots event attended by Paudel and other central leaders at Sanphe Bagar on Monday.
Paudel then criticized Rawal organizing a press conference the same day, while Rawal hit back at Paudel organizing a press meet in Dhangadhi on Tuesday.