POST B BASNET/KIRAN PUN
"There were only a few contentious issues including the number of the combatants to be integrated and rehabilitation packages for the rest. We agreed to strike a deal within the next couple of days," Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma told Republica after the "informal meeting" of the party standing committee.
The party radical faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya was not present at the meeting.
"Yes, not all the leaders were present during the meeting," said Sharma.
The party radicals however claimed that they are not aware of any such meeting of the standing committee -- let alone boycott it, and argued that the ´rumor´ was deliberately disseminated to defame their faction.
"Party tradition has been that any meeting is called jointly by the chairman and the general secretary, but general secretary is not aware about any such meeting," Baidya told Republica.
Baidya also bashed the party establishment for violating the party´s mandate while striking a peace deal with other political parties. "They are going for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) model, which is against the decision of the party´s last central committee meeting," said Baidya.
Party spokesperson Sharma said that the party establishment will not violate the mandate of the last central committee while striking a peace deal with other parties.
With the latest decision of the party establishment, the factional dispute in the party has reached a tipping point.
The Maoist party was scheduled to hold its standing committee meeting on Nov 3 to settle the disputes over the PLA integration, handover of the weapons containers to the Special Committee, return of seized property, and BIPPA signed with India.
"It is time to jump into action without being distracted by unnecessary debates in the party," said a senior leader close to Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. According to him, Dahal is not in a mood to hold the CC.
The party radicals have been saying that they would accept only a "dignified" integration of the PLA, and termed the party establishment´s "compromises on the PLA integration" a serious ideological deviation.
Earlier in the day, the hard-line faction, led by Baidya, had also boycotted the tea reception at Janakpur.
Meanwhile, attempts are being made to bridge the rift between the rival factions and save the party from a potential split. There was a meeting of the rival faction leaders at the residence of party leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara.
According to party leaders, Dahal had requested the radicals to join the government and keep the party unity intact. "The chairman asked us to hold discussions to sort out the differences and join the government. But we turned down his call. You know our stance," said Netra Bikram Chand who is close to Baidya.
The hardliner faction has argued that it doesn´t accept the party´s "anti-national" four-point deal signed with the Madhes-based parties which led to the formation of the current government, and would not participate in the government until the deal is scrapped.
Published on 2011-10-30 23:00:16