Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baidya-Bhattarai in new drive to downsize Dahal

KATHMANDU, July 20: Crying foul over the release of unilaterally prepared name-list of the party leaders to be sent to the government to the media, Maoist Vice-chairmen Mohan Baidya and Dr Baburam Bhattarai have accused Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal of not being serious toward settling the contentious issue of power-sharing in the party.

“The party´s name-list for cabinet berths that was released on Tuesday is false. Nothing has been settled as yet. The list was released without any decision in the party,” said party leader Netra Bikram Chand who is close to Baidya.

The list stated that party Secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati would lead the home ministry and Dev Gurung Ministry for Physical Planning and Works.

But Baidya has vociferously demanded that the party give the home ministry to Gurung from his faction and not Bogati who is close to Dahal. Party Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha, who has been proposed the deputy prime minister, has stated that he would not join the government if he is not given charge of the home ministry.

Similarly, Bhattarai faction in its list submitted to Dahal had proposed replacing the incumbent Minister for Physical Planning and Works Top Bahadur Rayamajhi. But Dahal´s list doesn´t include Rayamajhi´s name.
“Looking at the chairman´s strategy, it seems that he is not ready for power-sharing before August 31. But we would not be satisfied merely by his assurances as he has already lost his credibility,” said a leader close to Baidya.

However, the leaders from the party establishment have stated that the issue of power sharing would be settled soon.

“Once we resolve the disputes over ministerial portfolios, we will work toward settling the issues of organizational responsibility,” said Bishwo Bhakta Dulal who is close to Dahal.

The UCPN (Maoist) is preparing to send a new set of leaders into the government, recalling most of the incumbent ministers, to make the cabinet more inclusive with 33 percent reservation for women, to meet the demand of the Baidya-Bhattarai alliance. The newly forged alliance has also demanded that Dahal share the party´s political and financial powers with other leaders.

Maoist leaders were busy throughout the day in intra - and inter factional negotiations to settle the issue.

Baidya, Bhattarai, and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa met at Bhattarai´s residence in the afternoon. Later, Thapa and Shrestha met at the latter´s residence in Jhamsikhel. Prior to this, Shrestha had met Dahal at the latter´s residence at Nayabazaar.

Meanwhile, Dahal met Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala at the latter´s residence in Maharajgunj and discussed implementation of the five-point deal.
According to sources, Koirala pushed for the implementation of the deal.

Dahal, on the other hand, stated that he was sincere about the deal but insisted that the parties give continuity to the current coalition. Both leaders expressed worry over the continued postponement of the Special Committee, which has stalled the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants.

Alliance leaders bash Dahal

Addressing the gathering, Baidya argued that it was necessary to bring the chairman back onto the right tract as he had "deviated" from the correct way.

"He has been maintaining an upper hand in the party through deceptions. He has again been dillydallying over work division in the party. If he is ready to transform himself, it is okay. If not, he should be prepared to face any difficulties in the party," Sontosh Budha Magar quoted Baidya as saying during the gathering. Baidya was of the view that the alliance must be ready to even change Dahal if need be. He argued that Dahal has already deviated and so it is necessary to decentralize power to save the party.

Similarly, Bhattarai argued that the alliance has been created on the basis of a common view about the leadership. "There is an attempt to split the alliance, but we won´t let the conspiracy prevail," a participant quoted Bhattarai as saying.

Shrestha stated that there are problems in the main leadership, and added that he has been questioning the incapability of the leadership all along.

"Even the integration process, constitution drafting and the overall peace process have been stalled due to the fickle nature of the chairman," party leader Dharmendra Bastola quoted Shrestha as saying.

Thapa said that Chairman Dahal has violated the mandate of the Palungtar plenum. He said the plenum had directed the party to go through a process of transformation, unity and revolt.

"The leadership has been bogged down in dirty waters, the vehicle of the revolution has gotten stuck, and the gathering was meant to extricate the party and move toward completion of the revolution," Budha Magar quoted Thapa as saying.

Published on 2011-07-20 00:00:01

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