The leadership issue of the All Nepal National Free Students\' Union (ANNFSU) is now being decided by the UML The UML, under the leadership of Madhav Kumar Nepal, has decided that Rajendra Rai will now be the president of the ANNFSU. Rai was earlier the general secretary of the student body.
A battle royal had ensued between Nepal and Oli in nominating their respective favourites for the presidentship of the ANNFSU. Rai was supported by Nepal, while Oli rooted for Binod Dhakal. But cashing in on the absence of Oli who is in the US, the UML leadership was influenced by Nepal to nominate Rai for the president\'s post.
It is expected that the students will create a ruckus over the matter. They will not tolerate the high command intervening directly in their affairs. Moreover, Dhakal is seen to be more efficient and popular than Rai in the student wing.
Dhakal\'s supporters easily outnumber those of Rai\'s, and sidelining a person who has a solid grip over the students, may prove detrimental to the party. The ANNFSU convention is to be held in Butwal on 17 September, and the issue is sure to set off some sparks. But the UML leadership maintains that the party has the sole right to make appointments to the top five positions, even as elections to the rest of the posts will be held.
Oli enjoys more influence at the grassroot levels, as also in other UML-affiliated organisations. Nepal, for his part, is feeling the heat, and wants to strengthen his position at all levels. The fight over student leadership is a direct result of Nepal\'s attempt at strengthening his support base. Interestingly, during the ANNFSU Convention, both Nepal and Oli will be out of the country, and Bharat Mohan Adhikari will be representing the party.