Sunday, September 4, 2011

Handover hots up Maoist Standing Committee

KATHMANDU, Sept 4: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has conceded that there were some procedural shortcomings while handing over the keys of the weapons containers to the Special Committee, but justified his action saying the party Standing Committee had already endorsed the decision unanimously.

"We should have informed party colleagues about the move. But it is also true that the party Standing Committee had already formally endorsed it," a party leader quoted Dahal as saying during the Standing Committee meeting that saw a heated debate between party hardliners and moderates.

The hardliners, justifying their protest against the handover, insisted that the party had decided not to hand over the keys before finalizing the modality for integration and the rehabilitation packages.

"It is a deception against the party. We had clearly decided at the last meeting not to hand over the keys," one leader quoted hardliner Netra Bikram Chand as saying. Party leaders said the hardliners were aggressive at the meeting.

Party leaders Mohan Baidya and CP Gajurel defended their protest against the keys handover.

Similarly, General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa also argued that the party made a mistake in handing over the keys to the Special Committee, but said the party should correct its mistake and choose the path of reconciliation.

Party Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha and Girirajmani Pokharel likewise sided with the hardliners.

The party is holding a meeting of top office bearers Sunday morning and a Standing Committee meeting in the afternoon. Also Sunday, the party is likely to finalize the name-list of ministers to be sent into the government.

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