KIRAN PUN/GAJENDRA BOHARA
KATHMANDU, March 15: The Maoist hard-line faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya is rallying ex-combatants to bolster its move against the party establishment and the government.
“We are launching a nationwide campaign against the anti-national and anti-people government. We expect your active participation in this campaign,” former PLA commander Udaya Chaulaune quoted party General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as saying at a national gathering of ex-combatants held in Dang, Wednesday.
The ex-combatants, who have opted for voluntary retirement, are from the Baidya faction and Thapa and Netra Bikram Chand, another key leader of the hardline faction, reached Dang on Wednesday to rally the ex-combatants against the government and the party establishment.
“Except for the people´s constitution, all is illusion. But the party is surrendering to the regressive forces, all in the name of making compromises for peace and constitution,” former commander Dipendra Kumar Gharti Magar quoted Thapa as saying.
Similarly, Chand also came down heavily on the government and party.
“We had won the people´s war politically. But we lost both the political and ideological battle after we joined the peace process. We have to move ahead with new resolve to realize our goals,” former commander Ram Lal Roka Magar quoted Chand as saying.
Baidya and Thapa had jointly appealed to the combatants to opt for voluntary retirement, while the party establishment issued a directive to compulsorily register for integration. Most of the former commanders at the gathering, not surprisingly, were from the Baidya faction, and no one from the party establishment addressed the gathering.
The Dang gathering is only the latest organized separately by the hardliners and that shows their strained relations with Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Last Monday, the hardliners held a separate meeting in Kathmandu and concluded that Dahal violated the decisions of the last Central Committee (CC), which was instrumental for party unity. It decided to launch a program of struggle against the party´s ideological deviation and topple the “pro-India government” led by party leader Baburam Bhattarai.
Baidya faction leaders accuse Dahal of duplicity in not forcing Prime Minister Bhattarai to resign and declining to formulate a struggle program for a pro-people constitution.
They concluded that they should launch a struggle for the “purification” of the party and move ahead in their own way without caring what the party establishment says.
The Dang meeting also formed an organization of those who opted for voluntary retirement. It is led by former commander Nep Bahadur Kunwar Magar.
The former commanders likewise decided to pressure the party into forming a probe committee to investigate the embezzlement of PLA funds and make arrangements for the welfare of physically disabled combatants.
“We will announce a concrete program against the corrupt party leaders and commanders,” said former commander Ram Lal Roka Magar.