Paudel and Rawal trade barbs at each other

CPN-UML vice president Bishnu Paudel and  former vice president Bhim Rawal have criticized each other during events organized in Sudur Paschim province as part of the party’s national Mission Grassroots campaign.

During a draw training session on Monday, Paudel criticized Rawal, saying he has made serious mistakes.

“Bhim Rawalji is a leader built by the party, the people and the cadres. But he, too, has made some serious mistakes in recent days. He has not worked in accordance with 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 party decisions during local, provincial and House of Representatives elections. Therefore, Bhim Rawalji had made mistakes,” Paudel said. “What I would like to say even today is that if Bhim Rawalji wants to take an active part in the party’s work and realizes his mistakes and weaknesses, then we will welcome him.”

In response, Rawal said on Tuesday: “I want to ask you [Paudel]What serious mistakes did Bhim Rawal make? Have I made someone a legislator who calls the party Satan, or have I asked to vote in plow? [RPP’s election symbol] for 10 years, or asked to vote for 17 umbrella people [JSP’s election symbol]?”

Paudel had also accused Rawal of failing to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to him by the party and of running against the party’s chairman.

Responding to those accusations, Rawal said that lately the party has not given him any responsibility.

“He [Paudel] You said I ran against the president, our party believes in competitive democracy. Yesterday, Oli and Jhala Nathji ran for the presidency, Madhav Nepal and Oliji ran,” Rawal said. “I was also elected Vice President and got the most votes through the competition. Is it a mistake to even run against someone?

Paudel had said that Rawal also had differences over important decisions made by the party.

Rawal replied that he has not opposed anything that goes against the interests of the party.

“The accusations that he [Paudel] directed at me are unfounded and misleading. It is natural for cadres to protest when the central leaders themselves make inciting statements,” Rawal said.

Paudel is in Sudur Paschim to attend Mission Grassroots campaign events while Rawal came to Dhangadhi from Kailali after visiting his home district of Achham and Kanchanpur.

Rawal, who had run for president against KP Sharma Oli during the party’s 10th general convention, did not receive a ticket during the November 20 election. The party has also not assigned him any official responsibility, including in the Mission Grassroots campaign.

Rawal took his anger out after the party sought clarification from the party’s Achham district committee officials who had invited him to events in different parts of the district.

Leaders and cadres supporting Rawal even chanted slogans during a Mission Grassroots event attended by Paudel and other core leaders in Sanphe Bagar on Monday.

Paudel later criticized Rawal for organizing a press conference on the same day, while Rawal hit back at Paudel for organizing a press meeting in Dhangadhi on Tuesday.

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