Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UCPN (Maoist) splits

KATHMANDU, June 19: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) no longer remains unified as of Monday, as the dissident faction led by its Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya has formed a new party called Communist Party of Nepal, Maoist.

The announcement of the split from the UCPN(Maoist) and formation of the new outfit came at the end of the three-day national gathering of Baidya followers in Kathmandu on Monday.

The gathering has declared Baidya as chairman of the new party, with Ram Bahadur Thapa as general secretary, CP Gajurel as secretary and Netra Bikram Chand and Dev Gurung as politburo members. Thapa and Gajurel held the same positions in the mother party. The gathering also formed a five-member Standing Committee comprising these five leaders.

Besides these five, other members in the politburo are Kul Prasad KC, Hari Bhakta Kandel, Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma, Narayan Sharma, Pampha Bhusal, Indra Mohan Sigdel, Dharmendra Bastola and Hitman Shakya.

The national gathering also elected a 44-member central committee. The 44 were also central committee members in the mother party.

"Dissociation from reformists and revisionists is the basis for the formation of the new party," a leader quoted Baidya as saying while announcing the formation of the new party during the conclave.

A function will be held on Tuesday at the Nepal Academy Hall in Kathmandu to officially announce the dissociation from the mother party led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, according to Om Prakash Pun, a Central Committee member.

The national gathering attended by around 3,000 leaders and cadres decided to adopt the political line of people´s federal republic, with revolt as the tactical line, according to a leader who participated in the gathering.

The national conclave endorsed the need to hold a round-table assembly that will form an all-party government and draft a new constitution, said another leader.

The national gathering also decided to hold its first general convention in February, and all the Central Committee members, Standing Committee members and office bearers will be elected at that convention. The party has decided to go for a collective leadership system and will fix the term of office for each post.

Meanwhile, the gathering has leveled the UCPN (Maoist) led by Dahal as being a rightist and a neo-revisionist group.
However, a leader of the UCPN(Maoist) has termed the split unfortunate. "It is unfortunate that the party has split," UCPN(Maoist) Secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati told Republica. "They went against the aspirations of the people for party unity."

What led to split

The split in the Maoist party was not induced by just one event or incident. Nor did the split happen overnight. In fact, it was the result of a series of differences over years.

The seeds of the rift in the Maoist party were sown from the time Mohan Baidya and other senior leaders of his faction were arrested in India in March, 2004. The Baidya faction leaders had taken their arrest a conspiracy.

There was already a rift between Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai. The Baidya faction leaders at the time blamed Bhattarai and leaders close to him for the arrests, which prompted the party to sack some leaders from the party including Devendra Paudel, Kalpana Dhamala and Devendra Parajuli.

Then in 2005, the party´s meeting held in Chunbang, Rolpa adopted the political line of democratic republic but Baidya and senior leaders close to him were still in detention in India. The Baidya faction interpreted the political line as a departure from the party´s revolutionary line in favor of a revisionist and parliamentary line.

The Chungang meeting had paved the way for the signing of the 12-point deal with the then seven-party alliance, in India in November 2005. But the Baidya faction took the alliance as a dissociation from leftist and "revolutionary" parties and closeness with parliamentary parties.

The Baidya faction also opposed the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement as a betrayal of the people, country and "revolution".

After they were released from Indian jails after the party joined the peace process, Baidya lodged his dissatisfaction over the course the party was taking, at the party´s meeting in Chitwan in 2007. Baidya formally presented his separate political paper at the national gathering of the party at Kharipati, Bhaktapur in December, 2008. Later, in 2010, he also presented his separate political paper with the line of people´s revolt at the Palungtar plenum, but his paper was merged with Dahal´s paper.

The recent differences began from last August when the party signed a four-point agreement with the Madhesi parties before the election of Baburam Bhattarai as prime minister. Later, the faction also had strong reservations over the establishment faction´s decision to hand over the keys of the arms containers to the government. The faction was likewise irked by the decision to allow the deployment of the Nepal Army in the cantonments in April.

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