MAOIST DISPUTE Dahal faction to hold unionists gathering today
KIRAN PUN from Republica
KATHMANDU, Jun 20: In a clear indication of widening rift between the rival factions within the party, the UCPN (Maoist) establishment is holding a national gathering of workers loyal to the faction in the capital on Monday.
Party insiders say some 1,200 members representing 32 unions of the Maoist-aligned All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) from across the country will participate in the gathering to chalk out their future strategy.
Party Secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati, who is close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and also leads a committee to hold a national convention for new leaders in the ANTUF, took the initiative to hold the gathering. The move is aimed at countering initiatives of the other two factions to consolidate their positions in the party´s main body as well as in the sister wings.
Party factions led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai have lately stepped up intra-party campaigns to strengthen their respective factions in the party.
The Bogati-led committee that was entrusted with holding a national convention and bridging intra-organizational disputes was unable to hold a single meeting since its formation three months ago.
While former ANTUF chief Salikram Jammakattel is close to Dahal and former ANTUF Vice-chairman Badri Bajgain to Baidya, former Assistant General Secretary Lal Dhwaj Nembang is close to Bhattarai.
Former ANTUF General Secretary Ganesh Regmi, who is close to Dahal, said there is no point in inviting Bajgain and Nembang factions to their meeting.
"They are no longer in the federation. They have formed their own organizations. So we did not invite them to the gathering," Regmi told Republica.
Bajgain and Nembang have stated that the national gathering called by the party establishment is illegal and a move aimed at splitting the party.
"He [Bogati] is no longer our coordinator and he now represents the Jamakattel faction. He is for splitting the party," Bajagain claimed. He said he would also hold meetings and gatherings of workers close to him to counter the party establishment´s move.
"If the coordinator himself is involved in factionalism, why can´t we?" Bajagain questioned.
Nembang stated that Bogati had failed to hold any meeting of the union leaders even three months after his appointment as the coordinator. "At last he has called the meeting to engineer a split in the party," he said.
The factionalism in the ANTUF has taken an ugly turn with members fighting in public and rival factions forming parallel committees.
In a move aimed at defusing the crisis, the party Standing Committee dissolved all the three committees three months ago and appointed Bogati as the coordinator entrusting him with the task of holding the national convention.