Nepal: A Struggle Within the Maoist Party
Posted by hetty7 on October 13, 2011
These first paragraphs are from “Nepal’s Crossroads: Without a People’s Army the People Have Nothing” by Eric Ribellarsi and Mike Ely. We share them as a preface to the the myrepublica article which follows them.
“No other party in Nepal has the influence, apparatus or popular support of the Maoist Party. As a result the debate within the Maoist party has emerged as a key arena for the country as a whole.
This means that the leading representatives of these two roads within the Maoist party have become, in many ways, the leading representatives of those roads within the society as a whole. The future of Nepal may well be determined by which wing of the Maoist party is the one that now emerges with countrywide power.”
* * * * * * * *
Baidya Warns Public Exposure Against Dahal
by B Basnet
Kathmandu, Oct.12: Maoist hardliners have further tightened the screws on Chairman Pushpa Dahal, warning the latter that they would launch a “strident exposure drive” against his ideological “deviation” inside and outside the party if he doesn’t cancel the national gathering of party cadres slated for October 16 in Kathmandu.
Maoist vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who heads the hardline camp, and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, who has become a vocal critic of the party establishment, met Dahal at the latter’s residence at Naya Bazaar on Tuesday and issued such a warning.
“Things are slipping out of hand and you will be solely responsible for potential catastrophic consequences if you don’t withdraw the program,” a source quoted Baidya as telling Dahal.
The hardliners demanded that the party hold a meeting of the party Central Committee (CC), which has already been postponed thrice, and seek a way out of the current impasse.
According to sources, Dahal then said that he would call a meeting of the CC prior to October 16, where the controversial issues, including the handover of the weapons containers, return of the properties seized by party cadres, and the so-called four-point deal with the Madhes-based parties, would be discussed.
“You can then participate in the scheduled national gathering and put forward your views,” a leader quoted Dahal as saying.
But the hardliners declined Dahal’s request, saying they want a full-fledged CC meeting where the differences can be settled.
The party chairman then told Baidya and Thapa that he would consult other leaders of the party and hold a meeting with them again.
The party hardliners have stated that the party establishment called the gathering to woo the cadres from their camp, and they would make a countermove to prevent the potential damage. They want a meeting of the CC forthwith and subsequently a plenum or a national conclave to prevent the party from making “compromises with regressive forces in the name of concluding the peace process.”
To counter the party establishment’s national gathering, the hardliners have also called a separate gathering on October 15 in Kathmandu, a day prior to the gathering of the party establishment.
The party establishment in the last standing committee meeting , which was boycotted by the hardliners, decided to hold the national gathering as a countermove against the hardliners’ earlier nationwide “exposure campaigns” denouncing Dahal.
“If the party establishment doesn’t cancel the gathering, it will have to face dire consequences,” said Maoist politburo member Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma who is close to Baidya. He said his faction doesn’t expect Dahal to take the risks.
Meanwhile, Dahal met Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai at the latter’s official residence late afternoon and discussed ways to accommodate the Baidya faction in the scheduled national gathering.
“They agreed that they should discuss with Kiran (Baidya) and move ahead by accommodating him, keeping the party unity intact,” said Bhattrai’s aide Bishwadeep Pandey.
Meanwhile, Dahal’s aide Shakti Basnet said the national gathering could be postponed for a couple of days if the Baidya faction has grievances that they were not consulted before fixing the date. “But it is the question of their intention. If they want we will talk to them and fix the date again.”
But the program would be held as scheduled if they want to disrupt this gathering on various pretexts,” said Basnet.
He argued that the establishment was compelled to hold the gathering to disseminate the official views of the party as the Baidya faction went to the grassroots level to spread ‘propaganda’ against the establishment.