KATHMANDU, June 10: With the aim of foiling the proposed gathering of Baidya faction, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has started holding secret meetings with party central committee members close to the Baidya faction and those who have not officially sided with either of the factions.
Knowledgeable sources who have attended at least one such meeting told Republica that Dahal´s immediate strategy is to persuade the young and influential central committee members into distancing themselves from the conclave scheduled for June 15 in Kathmandu.
Dahal is leaving no stone unturned, including offering lucrative posts in the party, to persuade CC members close to Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
“We are aware of Dahal´s secret meetings. This is a testimony to the fact the growing popularity of Baidya faction among the party rank and file has terrorized the Dahal faction,” said party politburo member Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma who is close to the Baidya faction. “Having failed to keep the party intact, Chairman Dahal leaving no stone unturned to lure CC members into joining his faction," he added.
Biswakarma also informed that the leaders from the Dahal faction have even been spreading rumors that the gathering has been canceled. According to the Maoist sources, Dahal has been personally meeting select leaders and organizing secret group meetings.
In these meetings Dahal is said to have told CC members that he is ready to handover party leadership to Baidya if that ensures party unity. However, Baidya has already turned down the offer terming it Dahal´s new ploy to defame the Baidya faction.
Dahal ready to review alliance with Bhattarai
During one of his the meetings with influential young central committee leaders, Chairman Dahal has said that he is ready to review his alliance with Baburam Bhattarai if Baidya is ready to make serious effort to ensure party unity. "Since we [Baidya and Dahal] share similar ideologies, I have no hesitations in reviewing my political alliance with Baburam [Dr Baburam Bhattarai]," a leader quoted Dahal as saying at the meeting.
"I am ready for self-criticism for the mistakes I committed in the course of implementing the peace process, particularly during PLA integration. But, I have made no compromises on the established party line while drafting the constitution," another CC member quoted Dahal as saying. Dahal even said that Baidya does not have the competence to assume party leadership and Biplav [Netra Bikram Chand] has not yet gained enough political height to run a party," a CC member quoted Dahal as saying.