The proposal of Bam Dev Gautam, who has formed CPN (Unity National Campaign), to rejoin CPN-UML has got stuck.
Gautam, who seems enthusiastic after the main opposition party removed the age limit of 70 years for executive committees, had reached UML office Chyasal and met Chairman KP Sharma Oli on June 18 and expressed his wish to rejoin the party.
Gautam, who has claimed that he can help UML expand its party membership to six million, had also briefed Oli about his preliminary concept of achieving socialism with Nepali characteristics during the meeting.
But UML seems lukewarm to his proposal. “I had gone with the proposal of unification. I had cordial and open talks with Oli. He had said that we should unite, and invited me,” Gautam told Setopati. “But they have not got back to me now. They have not even called me.”
He stated that he had told Oli that he would return with party cadres and asked what role he would be given. “But he did not give solid answers. He only said I should join the party. He said that he alone could not give responsibilities and party committees should take decision. We have not had additional discussion after that.”
There were also talks about him joining the Socialist Front announced by CPN (Maoist Center), CPN (Unified Socialist), Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) and CPN led by Netra Bikram Chand. “Nobody has come to me to talk about Socialist Front.”
Prime Minister (PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been talking about reviving CPN formed after unification of Maoist Center and UML.
Gautam has also been working toward that. “I am always for unification. I have no doubts that the socialist movement would not succeed until communist parties unite. Not just UML but all including Maoist Center and Unified Socialist should, therefore, unite. These three parties should first unify and other parties should be brought along. That is my aim. I would work on that as long as I’m alive.”
UML Vice-chairman Bishnu Paudel confirmed with Setopati that Gautam’s proposal had not moved forward.
Gautam, who is currently National Assembly member having won the election on the ticket of the then CPN after losing from Bardiya in the general election of 2017 on a UML ticket, had quit UML on September 3, 2021 accusing Oli of defying constitutional supremacy and the rule of law in his resignation letter and slammed him for twice dissolving the House with utter disregard to the people's mandate.
He had also split UML in 1997 to form CPN-ML and returned back to the party four years later. He was accused of returning back to UML losing a big chunk of the party’s cadres to the Maoists who were waging an armed insurgency then.
Gautam, who was elected UML vice-chairman in the eighth and the ninth general conventions, still harbors hopes for the post of chairman.
Many UML leaders are against him rejoining the party citing his unstable and opportunist nature, and high ambitions.
“Gautam laid groundwork for split of UML. Why bring him in UML? What can Gautam, who spent his age and energy to weaken the UML movement, do joining the party in the late stage of his life?” a UML leader fumed.