Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dahal proposes general convention

KATHMANDU, June 22: The hardline faction of the UCPN (Maoist) has opposed the proposal to hold a general convention to end factional disputes over the party´s political line and defuse an ongoing internal crisis.
According to sources, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal proposal the general convention during a meeting of the party´s top five leaders held at his residence at Naya Bazaar on Monday.
Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai seconded the proposal, but Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the hardline camp, contended that the time was not appropriate for a general convention as the party finds itself at a very critical point in the peace process.
Baidya is for a constitution of a “People´s Federal Democratic Republic” and formation of a “national army” after integrating the PLA into the Nepal Army (NA), and for fomenting an urban insurrection if the party fails in its endeavors. He has stated that this is a time of heightened class struggle and the party should prepare for a final push for state capture.

Maoist leaders from the Baidya faction argued that they are not opposed to holding a general convention, which has been due for the last 20 years, if Dahal formally tables the proposal at the forthcoming Central Committee (CC) meeting.

“But the party should look critically at the current political scenario and evaluate the subjective and objective realities before going for a general convention,” said Kul Prasad KC, who is close to Baidya.

In fact the Baidya faction doesn´t believe that Chairman Dahal would hold a general convention even if the forthcoming CC takes a decision to that effect, according to party leaders. “Such decisions were taken many times in the past, but the party has not seen any general convention for the last two decades,” KC said.

The Maoist party has set June 23 for the Standing Committee meeting and June 24 for the CC meeting amidst the deepening internal crisis arising out of factional rifts. “The party is holding negotiations behind the curtain but differences are yet to be sorted out,” said Maoist leader Devendra Poudel.

The Baidya faction, which believes that the party deviated from the ideals of revolution after ending the “Protracted People´s War”, has threatened to split the party if the establishment faction makes any compromises over the cherished principles of the party.

“It is not necessary that theoretical and ideological issues are always settled through a method of majority/minority. The current debate is ideological,” said KC.

The party hardliners have lately been divided over their future course of action.

According to sources, the dominant group led by Standing Committee member Netra Bikram Chand is in favor of discussing the party´s bottom-line in the peace process and trying to reach an agreement for now as far as possible.

“It is not any ideological division, but there have been some minor differences over the way ahead,” said a senior Maoist leader.

But party Secretary CP Gajurel and Standing Committee member Dev Gurung are against making any such compromises. Both Gajurel and Gurung have their own personal scores to settle with Dahal.

The party´s three factions - led by Dahal, Baidya and Bhattarai - have been holding their separate campaigns within the party to consolidate their respective positions.

Lately, the internal meetings conducted by the party establishment have outnumbered those being conducted by the Baidya faction. On Tuesday, the Dahal faction held another meeting in Kathmandu.

According to sources, such meetings serve two purposes: 1) accusing the other faction of trying to split the party; and 2) threatening to move ahead in its own way and ignoring the other factions.

During such meetings, the Baidya faction told cadres that Dahal deviated from the party´s ideology and is now planning to split the party to fulfill his vested interests.

To counter this, the Dahal faction has also started holding meetings and has accused the Baidya faction of going against the party´s official line and plotting to split the party.

“It is a strategy to consolidate one´s hold in the party and justify one´s own activities, while blaming others of deviation and anarchy,” said a senior leader.

Published on 2011-06-22 00:00:01

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