Saturday, July 21, 2012

Under fire, Dahal to move out of Lazimpat residence

KATHMANDU, July 22: Amid strong criticism from party cadres for his extravagant lifestyle, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has decided to vacate his Lazimpat residence and return expensive vehicles given him by the government.

Addressing the closing session of the five-day plenum, Dahal said he would vacate the Lazimpat residence immediately after making a new arrangement. He said he would only use vehicles provided by the government.

"I have been staying on rent. But I have been accused of buying the house,” he said, adding, “I am a former prime minister and government will provide me a house and a vehicle," party central committee member Krishna Bhujel quoted Dahal as saying.

The government has already brought an ordinance to provide state facilities to former prime ministers.
Soon after Dahal moved into Lazimpat residence from Naya Bazaar, party cadres, especially the faction led by then senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya had accused Dahal of purchasing the property. His aides, on the other hand, claimed that Dahal had been staying in the house on rent.

The plenum also endorsed Dahal´s proposal to exchange his secretariat with that of Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai. According to central committee member Bhujel, Dahal had proposed to exchange secretariats to show that the factions no longer exist in the party.

"Party leaders and cadres have criticized Dahal for promoting “nepotism” in the party. The leaders had time and again suggested to Dahal to appoint senior leaders in the secretariat but he appointed his nephew Samir Dahal," said Maoist leader close to Dahal.

Central Committee dissolved

The plenum also decided to form a general convention organizing committee by dissolving the party central committee. Dahal, Bhattarai, party Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha and Secretary Post Bahadur Bogati will be the office bearers of the committee. The plenum also dissolved the party standing and politburo committees, while the state and district committees have also been transformed into convention organizing committees.

The plenum announced the general convention for mid-January. Muslims, women, Dalits, senior party leaders and leaders from downtrodden regions will also be included in the convention organizing committee.

However, party leaders and cadres are skeptical about the possibility of holding the general convention. The party had also announced general convention for mid-February last year. However, the party has not been able to hold general convention for the last 22 years.

Similarly, the plenum endorsed Dahal´s proposal to form financial and account committees at the central level. The details of movable and immovable properties held by the party chairman and vice-chairman will be submitted to the financial committee.

The committee will then make arrangements for distribution of the properties among party leaders for party activities. Similarly, the plenum also decided to transfer the chiefs of state committees.

According to the statement issued by Bishwabhakta Dulal, coordinator of publicity subcommittee of the plenum organizing committee, Dahal´s political document has been endorsed on the condition that suggestions offered by party leaders during the plenum would be incorporated in his document.

Bhattarai had defended the government while presenting his views at the plenum, saying it had not signed any treaty with India against the interests of the country. Participants of the meeting had criticized the government for signing Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and extradition treaty. from Republica

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