Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Why Maoist clash began from Chitwan?
KATHMANDU, July 3: Various questions have arisen following Saturday´s violent clash between the cadres from UCPN (Maoist) and its breakaway party CPN-Maoist in Chitwan.
Many have wondered why all this began from the home district of UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and new party´s General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, among other senior Maoist leaders. Questions abound: Whether they fought over property or the leaders´ prestige issue triggered the clash or is there any other reason.
The UCPN (Maoist) party owns its party offices and other properties in at least 50 of the total 75 districts. No clash has been reported in other districts so far.
Some argue that the office buildings of the party and the land occupied by it in Bharatpur is worth over 40 millions rupees so the fight is basically over property.
But Maoist leaders and many others who know the Maoists more closely believe that the political reason behind it is more important than the financial one.
"The invaluable property might be one reason but more than that Dahal and Thapa have associated control over the Chitwan office with their prestige," said Mani Thapa, who quit the Maoist party during the insurgency to form his own Revolutionary Communist Party.
Local leaders claimed that UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Dahal sent his own brother Narayan Dahal and another leader Chitra Bahadur Shrestha to Chitwan because the district office in his hometown was occupied by the rival new party. "Dahal doesn´t want to lose his hold in Chitwan district despite the fact that Maoist Chitwan district in-charge Anil Sharma and majority members of the district chapter have already joined the new party led by Mohan Baidya," Mani Thapa explained.
According to him, the district leaders who have been continuously using the office and the properties will not give up easily. Sharma argues that the offices ranging from the party´s head office in Kathmandu and all other district offices should be shared between the two sides.
"Otherwise, we will occupy those office buildings where our comrades are district in-charge and we will not claim ownership of the offices in the districts where the district presidents are from the old party," Sharma explained. After the clash the Chitwan office building is under police control.
Maoist leaders believe that Dahal and top Maoists take Chitwan as a very important and strategic district after the capital. They believe that Chitwan has historically remained crucial for leftist political parties when it comes to expanding their organizations during underground as well as open politics.
Dahal has time and again expressed his willingness to project himself as a leader from Chitwan. A few months ago, Dahal, while addressing a mass gathering, committed himself that he would not allow division of Chitwan while delineating the country into provinces.
A leader close to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is also vice-chairman of the UCPN (Maoist), believes that Dahal never wants to see the new party capture the district office in his own home district. "Because such a move would boost the morale of cadres from the Baidya´s party," he said. "It is for the same reason that Dahal sent his own brother to lead the drive to capture the party office there."