KATHMANDU, May 31: Just ahead of the fresh election to the constituent assembly (CA), the UCPN (Maoist) is going to reactive the Young Communist League (YCL) as its ´additional force´. The Maoists plan to form YCL committees in every village and city neighborhood under the slogan of ´one tol one YCL committee´. The Maoists have been projecting the YCL as its ´additional organization´ rather than as a youth wing.
The YCL was formed just before the last CA election, out of the cream of People´s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders in the cantonments, under the leadership of then fourth division commander Ganesh Man Pun.
To reactivate the YCL, the Maoists have scheduled its first general convention for August 31 to September 3 in Kathmandu.
Once the YCL is reactivated, the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML will have a new issue to raise. The two parties have been limited for a long time to just reacting to the issues floated by the UCPN (Maoist).
"We will play a crucial role to gain a majority of votes in support of the federalists," Pun told Republica, arguing that the YCL will have a constructive role in society, launching an agenda for youths.
The YLC was active against the irregularities of government bodies in the past. But with its own controversial activities, the Maosits were also defamed on account of the YCL.
In the past, Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML set the political agenda. They demanded the dissolution of the YCL, criticizing its activities and accusing it of interfering in the work of the government. NC and the UML had accused the Maoists and the YCL of rigging the CA election. YCL activities figured large in talk among the political parties. Finally, the Maoists countered by demanding that the NC and UML dissolve the Tarun Dal and the Youth Association Nepal (YAN) if they wanted to see the YCL dissolved.
The Maoists agreed to remove the paramilitary structure of the YCL and they were kept inside closed-off buildings at factories.
The YCL was rendered inactive by the Maoists because it gave them a bad name, and it also kept a low profile because of the formation of the People´s Volunteers (PV). After endorsing ´people´s revolt´ as the party line, the Maoists had decided to form people´s volunteers and keep the YCL profile low.
"After the formation of the PV, all YCL activities had been halted," added Pun.
But following the party split, the UCPN (Maoist) decided to activate the YCL while the CPN-Maoist activated the PV.
"We would not give any chances to the oppositional parties to criticize us like in the past. We will launch programs of production and creative reform in society," said Pun, informing that the YCL would concentrate on these activities.
The YCL was formed as a force of youths to train other youths in Maoist ideology. Its commanders had commanded the 10-year insurgency. The next task was to work as a youth force to launch protests against irregularities. The third task was to extend the organization of the party in the villages and cities.
"After the Hetauda general convention, its added new task is to engage in production and creative work in society. The YCL will focus on production, through mobilization of the youths," added Pun.
Why do the Maoists want to activate the YCL?
There are various reasons for activating the YCL. According to Maoist watchers, the main reason is to enlist the youths for mobilizing muscle and money. The Maoists will use them as in the last CA election. The YCL is a trained force.
Another reason is that the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has formed the PV out of former PLA, disqualified PLA, former YCL and youth leaders of the party wings. UCPN (Maoist) is going to reactivate the YCL to stop more of them from joining the PV.
Yet another reason is that the youths are frustrated with the leadership. While they are brought out into the streets they are not given any responsibilities. So it is also a pretext to engage these youths who are dissatisfied at being deprived of any active role in the party.
What effect will the reactivation of the YCL have on the election?
The YLC will play the same role as the NC´s youth wing Tarun Dal and UML´s YAN. The political parties will use their youth wings as ´muscle´ for the election.
"Don´t take reactivation of the YCL as the election. The role of the YCL in the election is secondary," said Pun. Yes, it is natural that the YCL will affect the election, but it is yet to be seen if it will be as effective as during the last CA poll, he added.