POST B BASNET/KIRAN PUN
“The leaders are yet to finalize the deal, but it is almost sure that they would settle the issues by Monday morning and announce the decisions of the central committee (CC) meeting on Monday afternoon,” said a senior Maoist leader requesting anonymity.
The alliance forged by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Bhattarai had demanded that Dahal share the party leadership with other leaders making Bhattarai the party leader in both parliament and government, and Baidya the chief of the party organization.
According to sources, the assurance that he would be made prime minister if the party gets a chance to lead the government is likely to satisfy Bhattarai.
“Shrestha, without whose support the alliance would not have a majority, did not back Bhattarai to immediately replace the chairman as the party leader in parliament. So he had to step back,” said the party leader.
According to sources, Dahal has, however, agreed to meet most of the demands of the alliance. Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha is likely to replace Krishna Bahadur Mahara as the party´s leader in the current coalition, while General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa may head the party´s military wing. Similarly, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya is likely to take charge of the party organization.
The top office bearers had held a meeting at party headquarters in Paris Danda immediately after the central committee (CC) meeting was postponed for Monday, and discussed the contentious issues in earnest to end the protracted tussles for power within the party.
Leaders say Dahal looked sad during the CC meeting and at the office bearers´ meeting later in the day. “I had rarely seen him so low during my political career,” said a CC member.
Meanwhile, the taskforce headed by leader Dev Gurung, which was formed on Saturday to settle the issue of power sharing, was dissolved on Sunday following a dispute over whether they should recommend ministerial berths only for those who are CA members or others as well.