KATHMANDU, July 18: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday said the party would not discriminate against those who joined the party after the end of the Maoist war in 2006, an assurance many see as an attempt to forestall the possibility of leaders and cadres of the faction led by Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Sonam Sathi and others joining the newly-formed CPN-Maoist.
Dahal, addressing a closed session of the party´s seventh plenum that
started Tuesday, also assured leaders and cadres close to Shrestha and
Sonam Sathi -- a group of central committee members led by Shashi
Sherchan -- that they would be duly entrusted with party
The Shrestha-led CPN (Ekata Kendra Masal) merged into
the Maoist party after the latter laid down arms.
"Rest assured, there will not be any discrimination between those who
fought in the people´s war and those who did not. The party will treat
all equally, bridging the gap between them. I want to assure all
comrades that the Maoist party is the convergence of both forces," a
participant quoted Dahal as saying at the closed session of the plenum
before reading out his political document.
According to participants, the Maoist chairman spent most of an
hour-long extempore speech praising those who joined the Maoist past
party after the war. Hitherto, such leaders and cadres have allegedly
been treated as "others" in the party and were denied due
responsibilities within the party. Lower rank cadres said they have been
hugely discriminated against.
Dahal with Bhattarai and other Maoist leaders. (Bhaswor Ojha)
According to party insiders, Dahal lavished praise on such leaders and
cadres in a bid to win hearts because their support is crucial for him
to maintain a majority in the party. They further said the Dahal faction
may be in a minority if he fails to garner support from the
"Dahal´s praise was planned, and was aimed at stopping them from joining
the new party and fighting against the Bhattarai faction," said a
leader close to Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai.
Dahal also took out time to lambast Mohan Baidya, the chairman of the
newly-formed CPN-Maoist, accusing him of splitting the party.
"Baidya was never for party unity," another leader quoted Dahal as saying.
Karki, Sherchan and Madhesi leaders unhappy
Ram Karki, Shashi Sherchan and the party´s CC members of Madhesi origin
have expressed dissatisfaction with Dahal for not incorporating their
views in his political document and not allowing them present their
documents at the plenum. They had registered separate political
documents countering that of Dahal.
"We will wait and see till tomorrow. I will talk to Dahal again," Karki
told Republica. "We will see whether the leadership will respect
internal democracy in the party. I hope I will get a chance to present
my document tomorrow."
Asked about his move if Dahal does not allow him to present his paper,
he said he do “what a communist leader should do" under such
Karki is not the sole leader to express his dissatisfaction at Dahal
document. The group led by Sherchan is also equally unhappy.
"We told the chairman that our document is different in spirit," said
Ishwari Bhattarai, who is close to Sherchan faction. According to him,
they have suggested to Dahal to mention BIPPA signed with India. Dahal
is silent about it.
Similarly, Madhesi leaders in the party are also unhappy as Dahal has not incorporated their views in the document.
Dahal´s wife Sita with Bhattarai´s wife Hisila. (Photo: Bhaswor Ojha)
Maoist cadres at plenum. (Bhaswor Ojha)
Cadres with their kids. (Bhaswor Ojha) from Republica