Nepal: The Strange Bedfellows of Nationalist Politics

[The following three articles, from the Nepali bourgeois press, describe new twists and turns in the politics of the former kingdom and nascent republic.  The announcement of the move by the leadership of the CPN(M) may have some relation to Baidya's recent trip to capitalist-imperialist China (countering the UCPN(M)'s embrace of relations with the aggressive-yet-comprador Indian  bourgeoisie). 

And the move also reflects the ongoing urban orientation of the CPN(M).  The masses of peasantry in the countryside will undoubtedly view this with dismay, as a further CPN(M) downgrading of the struggle against feudal relations--a struggle which has been repeatedly downgraded, marginalized, neglected and suppressed since the end of the People's War seven years ago.  

On the other hand, there are feudal forces (landlords) who have indicated their love of this shift. 

And Baburam Bhattarai, speaking for the revisionist-cum-bourgeois "republicanism," jumped on it immediately, condemning the "collaboration" of Baidya and Biplav with the king. (see the third article, below). 

With this, what has been characterized as the struggle of a revolutionary CPN(M) vs. a revisionist and neo-comprador UCPN(M) begins to reflect two competing forms of nationalism, one aligned with China, the other with India. 

This turn poses a significant challenge to genuine revolutionaries in Nepal, and to all who support the revolutionary struggle in the Himalayas: May the revolutionary peasantry, youth and former PLA fighters keep their independence and revolutionary mass orientation!   --   Frontlines ed.]

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Business Standard:  “Nepal: CPN-Maoist may join ex-king to protect ‘nationalism'”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of Nepal‘s Unified CPN-Maoist, today said that it could join hands with former monarch King Gyanendra for the sake of protecting “nationalism”.

CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Vaidya said that there could also be collaboration with the former king, “who carries true feelings of nationalism”.

66-year-old Gyanendra’s reign ended in 2008 when the Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a republic and abolished the monarchy.

At a function in Nuwakot district, Vaidya also said that there was no alternative to the formation of a greater front with all the nationalist forces including the former king on this issue. Continue reading

In Nepal, Jimmy Carter urges arrest of opponents of elections

[Ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who has provided the stamps-of-approval on many "nation-building" elections and electoral stability--(conditions for foreign investors and for diplomatic "aid" in many countries)--is now playing an even more open role in constructing a "post-People's War" orthodoxy in Nepal, walling off non-compliant revolutionary people from the new power arrangements.  Frontlines ed.]

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Constituent Assembly polls likely in November, says Carter

KATHMANDU, APR 01 – Former US president Jimmy Carter on Monday said there is general political consensus that Constituent Assembly (CA) elections are not possible in June.
Carter, who is here on a four-day visit, made the statement after holding talks with President Ram Baran Yadav, Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi, top leaders of the major parties and Election Commission officials. With election-related preparations yet to be complete, Carter said the polling date is likely to be set for November.
“I think there is general consensus, which I share, that June election will not be possible at this point,” Carter told a press conference here. “My guess, as a foreigner who is here for three-four days, is that elections will be scheduled for after the monsoon season. The third week of November would be a possible time.”
The 88-year old leader pledged that his organisation, the Carter Center, would monitor the elections, while he vowed to visit Nepal to observe the polls. Carter visited Kathmandu in April 2008 to observe the first CA elections and was recently criticised by leaders from the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML for endorsing the election as “free and fair” on the very day of polling, without making a critical assessment. Responding to the criticism, Carter said that Carter Center staff are stationed in countries months before elections to conduct ‘real’ observations. “There was certainly some intimidation by the Maoists and others, which we acknowledged in our report,” he said. “But, in general, my view was that the election adequately represented the will of the Nepali people. It was not perfect but in my judgment it was honest and fair enough to say that it was a successful election.” Continue reading

Indian reactionaries have high hopes for Nepali revisionists, but not sure they will last

[Nepal's UCPN(M), led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai, has now consolidated their abandonment and renunciation of the Nepali revolution and People's War, in a Convention which declared their adoption of capitalism.  Recently, revolutionary activists have broken with the UCPN(M) and its capitalist road, and re-established the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which in ITS recent re-founding meeting struggled over how to re-set the Nepali revolutionary course -- amid sharpening differences between advocates of re-starting People's War in the countryside, and those who advocate peoples revolts (protest demonstrations and, possibly, strategic urban insurrections at some time in the future).  The "people's (reform and) revolt" line prevailed over the "people's (revolutionary) war" line at the recent meeting, but the struggle between these lines continues.  The Indian reactionaries' views, reported below, are assessing the prospects of UCPN(M)'s capitalist consolidation. -- Frontlines ed.]

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India’s Nepal hands watch Maoist shift

While some say the party’s change in the political line is positive, some argue that the change could hurt the party if it fails to clean internal issues like corruption and cadres’ problems

NEW DELHI, February 12, 2013–The change in the UCPN (Maoist) ’s political line, adopted during the party’s seventh General Convention in Hetauda, is being observed with great interest by neighbouring India .

Describing the change as a “huge and significant shift” in the party’s principles, India ’s Nepal hands claimed that the development would “undoubtedly have a positive impact on improving the New Delhi-Maoist relationship.”

The recently concluded jamboree of the largest Nepali political force endorsed Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s political document, which envisages embracing a ‘capitalist revolution’ by abandoning its previous line of ‘people’s revolution’. Continue reading

Nepal ex-Maoists declare “We will follow ‘the path of capitalism’ to achieve ‘communism'”

[Seven years after abandoning the revolutionary People's War and dismantling the emerging liberation political powers in the countryside, and ending the revolutionary challenge to feudal and semi-feudal relations, and the People's Liberation Army, the former Maoists led by Prachanda and Bhattarai are now shedding their "Maoist" cover.  A good number of purported revolutionaries who supported these revisionists soon after their abandonment of the revolutionary road--(some even called Prachanda and Bhattarai the "creative Maoists" of our time, and the leaders of 21st Century Communism)--will now be challenged to sum up their promotion of these anti-revolutionaries, and help those they may have influenced to understand how to avoid such retreats in the future.  The world of revolutionary Maoists will be watching.  We encourage our readers to comment on these developments.  Frontlines ed.]

Nepal Maoists to change ideology, hint at giving up anti-India stance”

Friday, Feb 1, 2013
 By Shirish B Pradhan | Place: Kathmandu | Agency: PTI
In a major policy shift, Nepal’s ruling Maoists will adopt a new path to socialism through capitalism and may also give up their anti-India stance at the upcoming national convention of the party.

Some 2,500 delegates of the ruling UCPN-Maoist will attend the six-day general convention, to take place after a gap of over 20 years, starting on Saturday in central Nepal’s Hetauda Municipality in an attempt to revamp the guerrilla group-turned-mainstream political party.

“We will follow ‘the path of capitalism’ to achieve communism instead of pursuing ‘New Democracy’ as propounded by chairman Mao Zedong,” said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, vice-chairman of UCPN-Maoist and deputy prime minister. Continue reading

The Nepalese Revolution in the Clasp of Reformism and Revisionism

[The following is a statement from the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist Leninist on the current situation facing the international communist movement, with special attention on the effect of the Nepalese abandonment of the People's War.  It is a very timely assessment based on seriously probing issues that affect not only the Nepalese, but revolutionaries throughout the world. -- Frontlines ed.]

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Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist Leninist (TKP/ML), October 2012

Following the death of Comrade Mao Zedong, similar to the process that took place after the death of Comrade Stalin, modern revisionism seized the party and the state power, and caused serious damages to the world revolutionary front. Having suffered heavy blows in the hands of modern revisionism, the International Communist Movement (ICM), despite having benefited from a series of class war and struggle practices, including the one waged in Turkey, has not been able to stand against the ideological offensives of imperialism, which gained considerable momentum especially during the 1990s.

In the circumstances where resistance was not organized strongly enough, communist forces sustained severe injuries throughout the process. While some of them sank in their capsized ships, yet some were swept to the opposite shores. Only the few “lucky” survived, considering the survival a major success in the given circumstances. There were several exceptional development by those who came up with accurate analyses and correct policies to advance the people’s war. Even these, however, found it impossible to advance without getting caught by the storm.

The most important defeat in people’s war experiences in recent history was suffered by Gonzalo led Communist Party of Peru (CPP). Despite having shown serious advances in revolution, the CPP failed to carry its success through the final stage. Those who explain the defeat in practical and tactical matters, which led to a severe blow in the leadership, or even in political approaches, are missing the chance to see the reality. Assessments regarding the revolution and people’s war that were revealed by the leadership under the conditions of captivity point out to a drift away from the fundamental philosophical principles of MLM science.

The same situation appears to be present in the process of Nepalese revolution as well. What is even more concerning is the fact that similar dangers are reproduced in the cases of certain components of the ICM, which inevitably leads to serious negative consequences in terms of absorbing and practicing Marxist ideology. As an action guideline, the Marxist ideology must first be correctly understood as a philosophy; as a reasoning method. Based on this comprehension, it can be applied for the analysis of class struggle and transferred to political arena.

Truth must be derived from the facts but in order to achieve this one needs appropriate methods and know-hows.   The materialist character of dialectic is shaped according to the correct conception of economic, social and political laws. Marxism is not a heap of dogmas but rather a science that breaks down the codes of today’s system; it contains a set of thesis and diagnoses that are proven to be correct and valid. Thanks to its ageless essence, its power to explain the transformation, and its structure that is open to further development, its light hasn’t dimmed; its mission as a guide is still on. Continue reading

Nepal: An inteview with Kiran about Nepalese struggle against Indian regional domination

[The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists have launched a campaign against Indian domination of trade, transport, and culture in Nepal.  The Associated Press reports:  "Movies theatres in Nepal have stopped screening Bollywood movies because they fear violence after a Communist Party offshoot alleged the films are vulgar and unsuitable for the Nepalese society...The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist is demanding the government give priority to locally made movies and strictly censor Hindi films. Party spokesperson Pumpha Bhusal said Friday it was giving the government until next week to comply...In another dispute earlier this week, supporters of the breakaway Communist party gathered at border crossings to stop Indian vehicles from entering Nepal. The party later said it was going to allow trucks with essential goods like oil, gas and food to enter...(The campaign opposes relations where) Indian trucks and vehicles are allowed to enter Nepal, while Nepalese vehicles are not allowed in Indian territories." -- Frontlines ed.]

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2012

Nepal & India: Questions to Comrade Kiran

This interview was originally posted in Nepali on weeklynepal, an online Nepali news portal, then translated into English. There is a minor edit for clarity. 

Are you an anti-India leader?

I’m not anti-India but inimical to the Indian oppression and hegemony. I’m not against India and the normal Indian people. Those who call me an anti-India are seriously flawed. We are internationalists and patriotic at the same time. Therefore, we have no antagonism with India and the normal Indian people. Our belief is that Nepal should not face Indian oppression. Alongside this we have opposed Nepalese puppets as well.

Who are the puppets in the nation, today?

Nepal is a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. Post WW-II, the usual practice of direct colonisation has come to an end. In these modern days oppression and exploitation is widely maintained by inducting domestic puppets within oppressed nations itself.

Has your protest against India benefited Nepal?

Lets not take the issues that we have raised as simple as a protest. There are problems, how this government will act upon to solve these problems is the principle theme. CPN-M is a political party. We have raised issues through surfacing the problems. In the past Baburam had raised the same issues himself. If there are problems, they need to be resolved. Now, we still need to see what happens between Indian oppression and the Nepalese government. We come across problems almost every day, like the border encroachment, removal of original border pillars, installation of new border pillars in wrong places etc. Don’t we need to look at these things? Continue reading

The US as Shepherd of Nepali Peace

US ready to provide ‘limited support’ for combatant rehabilitation

The United States has said it is ready to provide” limited support for some aspects of rehabilitation” of the Maoist combatants provided Nepal’s political leadership shows readiness to take the peace process forward.

Robert O. Blake
Robert O. Blake

“When Nepal’s political leadership demonstrates its readiness to move forward on the final elements of the peace process, we stand ready to provide limited support for some aspects of rehabilitation such as vocational training or to help ease the transition of these young Nepalis back into civilian life,” Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O Blake, said in a testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

The Assistant Secretary said that with the formation of the new coalition government, the USA looked forward to a re-energised commitment from all parties towards finalising the rest of the peace process, especially the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants along lines agreed to by consensus among the parties.

Blake further said despite its halting pace, the peace process nonetheless remains intact, and there is no imminent threat of a return to armed violence. Continue reading

Nepal: UNMIN exits, India enters

by Mohan Nepali for Public Journalism

January 18, 2011

Re-affirming that Nepal’s power-mongering politicians have long been accepting Indian political intervention in the country, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has arrived in Kathmandu with a clearly stated purpose of representing the Indian role in forming a government in Nepal.

India has apparently sent her to make sure the Indian role would redouble in Nepal after the exit of the UN Mission to Nepal (UNMIN) from Nepal’s peace process monitoring and reporting role three days ago.

The visit is reported to have been concerned with quarrels among Nepali political parties and their intra-party feuds. Continue reading

Nepal: Revolutionary Maoist Baidhya on the struggle in the party leadership and plans for the future

Mohan Baidhya

Himalayan Times, December 14, 2010

Revolt is plenum’s mandate: Baidhya

KATHMANDU: Vice-Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’ today said the party’s sixth extended meeting had mandated it to launch a ‘people’s revolt’.

Addressing an interaction on ‘National Independence and People’s Republic’ organised by Samayabaddha bimonthly, Baidhya said the Palungtar meeting has also urged the party to fight for a people’s federal republic and national independence.

He said a communist party must be ready to split or merge with others whenever necessary. “Remaining together despite ideological and political differences is no good, for it makes the party just a joint front,” he claimed, justifying the disintegration of his party from Mohan Bikram Singh’s party earlier.

He claimed that Vice-Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai had begun making public the internal debates through Rato Jhilko news magazine. After this, other leaders have also started revealing the secrets, he said.

“If we were following the traditional system in practice in a communist party, leaders would have faced action for revealing the party’s secrets,” he said. All the same, Baidhya said taking the debate to the public is a good practice, though the party used to take it negatively earlier. Continue reading

Nepal: With India on the UN Security Council, UCPN(Maoist) Chairman Dahal backs off struggle against India

Indian President Manmohan Singh and UCPN(Maoist) Chairman Dahal meet in Delhi to resolve differences

(IANS) With India assuming a seat on the UN Security Council after 19 years, Nepal’s opposition Maoist party will have to do some quick rethink of its old strategy of projecting the southern neighbour as its arch enemy.

As the former guerrillas ready for a fresh round of deliberations at their central committee meeting starting today, the voice of reason is urging the party leadership to go back on the threat Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda made at the recently concluded plenum, calling for a war on India.

The former rebels have been banking heavily on the UN for legitimacy as a political party after staging an armed insurrection for 10 years from 1996. While signing a peace agreement with the major political parties in 2006, the Maoists insisted on the UN being part of the peace process, and from 2007 the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) began to monitor their People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

After the parties and the Maoists failed to work together to disband the PLA and rehabilitate its nearly 20,000 guerrillas within six months of signing the peace agreement, the UNMIN was given several extensions by the UN Security Council. However, in September this year, the Security Council announced it would give one last extension to the UNMIN, after which it would begin to pull out from Nepal from January 15, 2011. Continue reading

Blackmail on Nepal by US Agency for International Development

Nepal Could Lose Out on Foreign Aid Due to Political Impasse

Kathmandu – The international donor community has warned  Nepal it will withdraw aid if the political situation does not improve.

A statement issued late Tuesday by the US government’s main aid organization US Agency for International Development on behalf of the international donor community said that there was concern over the “negative development impact stemming from the slow progress in forming a new government, implementing the peace process, and writing the new constitution.” Parliament has failed 16 times attempts to elect a prime minister. “The slow pace in implementing the peace process, combined with the continued caretaker status of the government, lack of development leadership, significantly reduces most donors’ ability to secure future resources for Nepal,” the statement said.

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and largely depends on foreign aid for its development. The country has been under a caretaker government since June when the prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned under Maoist pressure. A Maoist insurgency from 1996 to 2006 killed over 16,600 people. The absence of a government delayed the announcement of a full budget, affecting the administration as well as development. Donors said the announcement of a budget last week, using a special ordinance, had provided some relief but urged the completion of the peace process.

It also called on the country to “effectively deal with the other ongoing issues constraining Nepal’s development” in order to create an environment in which foreign assistance can most effectively be implemented. The statement was issued by USAID on behalf of organizations including the Asian Development Bank, a group of donor communities representing Western nations and the World Bank.

Nepal: Interview with Prachanda on forging closer ties with Indian and Chinese regimes

[One highlight of this interview is Prachanda’s plans to forge an agreement with the reactionary Indian regime and the Chinese imperialists  with the goals of developing closer economic ties and  satisfying  China’s and India’s "security concerns.”  As part of this strategy, Prachanda is making a trip to New Delhi on November 15 to resolve the UCPN(Maoist)’s disputes with Indiia over borders and unequal treaties, in order to lessen and eventually remove Indian opposition to the UCPNM.

Prachanda also reiterates his full support for integration of an undisclosed number of the 19,000 members of the People’s Liberation Army (who have been housed in camps for four years) into the 90,000 strong US and Indian backed Nepal Army. This is the same army that the PLA was fighting against in order to liberate 80% of Nepal’s countryside as of 2006, the year that Prachanda and the UCPNM leadership called off the people’s war in order to become an electoral party in search of a peaceful reformist path to “socialism.”---Frontlines ed]

Posted on eKantipur.com on November 11, 2010

“We want to turn over a new leaf in our relationship with India”

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)  – UCPN(M) –  has had a difficult relationship with India and other political parties in Nepal after the fall of Maoist-led government in May 2009.  The party’s  several attempts to regain power have been scuttled by its widening trust gap with various political forces.  As a consequence the peace process has been stalled and Nepal has been without a functioning government for over four months. Against this backdrop, Prachanda ( Pushpa Kamal Dahal),  Chairman of the UCPN (M),  recently visited China where he proposed to the Chinese leadership a tripartite  agreement between Nepal, China, and India.  Prachanda  spoke to Akhilesh Upadhyay and Sudheer Sharma on Saturday morning about his visit, his party’s upcoming plenum, its relationship with India, the peace process and his fall from grace.

You and your party men have been to China frequently.  Some reading it as tilting towards China.

It is not as it appears in the media.  At an ideological level, we are naturally interested in studying developments in China.  But my visits have been circumstantial.  The first time I went to the Olympics.  The second time I was there to study Chinese development. This time I was there to attend the Shanghai Expo.  Which is not just about China for the expo is, in a sense, a world expo.

It is true that while in China I had meetings with Chinese leaders.  But upon my return I divulged the content of those meetings.  Chinese leaders have always underlined the need to ensure peace and development (in Nepal).  As the largest party, they have advised us to improve ties with India.  There is no truth in the rumours about our party’s preference of China over India. Continue reading

Stalemate in Nepal: Which way forward for the UCPN(Maoist) and the Nepali people’s revolutionary struggle?

Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army during the People's War (1996-2006)

[With the approach of a much delayed meeting of the Central Committee Plenum of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the basic analysis of this article, which was published in April 2010, remains relevant to the political situation in the UCPN(Maoist) and in Nepal today.-ed]

 

by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group, April 4, 2010   (www.mlmrsg.com)

The central question facing the Unified Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) (UCPNM) is whether it can develop the political line, strategy and tactics to conquer state power and wield it in the service of the vast majority of the people of Nepal and the world.

This question has become the subject of discussion and debate throughout the world, ever since the Maoists in Nepal signed an agreement in 2006 to end their 10-year old people’s war. Over the years of the people’s war, the revolutionary forces had inspired people the world over, winning wave upon wave of victories and building both guerrilla zones and liberated areas which were beginning the work of a new society. The Peoples War in Nepal, it must be said, rekindled the spirit and hopes of revolution around the world. Their successes, winning nearly 80% of the territory of Nepal, had drawn such attention and acclaim that ending of the people’s war with the peace agreement of 2006 came as a great surprise and shock to many.

The course which has been followed since has been discussed and debated–and denounced or embraced–by various forces, because the Maoists had achieved so much prior to the 2006 agreement, and had seemed to be approaching nationwide victory. Why this change of course? Was this a departure from a new democratic revolutionary strategy, or was this a sophisticated move toward successfully winning the revolutionary struggle for power?

To answer this question, it must be determined whether Prachanda and the majority of the UCPNM leadership are leading the party and the masses of Nepal to complete the new democratic revolution and build socialism, or they are implementing a disorienting strategy— leading to a political “package deal” in the next few months–that will result in a major setback for the Nepali people’s revolutionary struggle.

I. Moving Towards a Package Deal in May 2010

After signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, Prachanda and his allies in the party leadership argued that winning a majority or a large plurality of the seats in the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections would allow them to start restructuring the state by peaceful means—by parliamentary politicking backed up by periodic street demonstrations called by the party. Continue reading

India-China Power Games in Nepal

Pramod Jaiwal, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

September 16, 2010

A month after the visit to Nepal by Shyam Saran as special envoy of the Indian Prime Minister, a delegation of 21 senior Chinese leaders led by He Yong, vice-premier and secretary at the secretariat of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, arrived in Kathmandu on September 11, 2010 on a six-day visit.

This is the highest-level Chinese delegation to visit Nepal since the beginning of the peace process.  The visit also coincided with news about a controversial audio tape purportedly containing a conversation between Krishna Bahadur Mahara, International Bureau Chief of the Unified CPN-Maoist, and an unknown Chinese, in which Mahara is heard asking for 500 million rupees to buy off 50 lawmakers required to form the government under Prachanda’s leadership. This tape brought China into the internal political debate of Nepal for the first time. As of now, it is not known whether the tape is genuine or not. If it is genuine, then it indicates a serious shift in China’s policy towards Nepal. It can be seen as the beginning of Chinese interference in Nepal’s internal affairs.

The Chinese have always adopted a pro-establishment policy towards Nepal. Experts emphasize that Nepal-China relations are based on the Five Principles, or Panchsheel, according to which China will not intervene in Nepal’s domestic politics and Nepal will respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with respect to Tibet and Taiwan. Continue reading

Nepal: Prachanda’s loss throws open India-China rivalry


Jyoti Malhotra / New Delhi September 08, 2010

Kathmandu has become the latest proxy battleground between regional powers India and China to demonstrate their sphere of influence, with leaked tapes and trade disagreements playing out against a snowballing political crisis, in which Nepal’s lawmakers today rejected a record seventh attempt by Maoist candidate Pushpa Kamal Dahal, or Prachanda, to become prime minister.

Prachanda managed to secure only 252 votes out of 601, while his Nepali Congress (NC) rival Ram Chandra Poudel, did even worse with 119, but the fact remained that a breakaway Madhesi party with 25 seats could not decisively influence the shape of the election in favour of the Maoists.

Nepali and Indian observers who sought anonymity said India had “succeeded” in denying Prachanda “victory,” but conceded that the leak of an audio tape on Friday in which Maoist ideologue Krishna Bahadur Mahara is said to be asking for Rs 50 crore from an allegedly Chinese person to “’buy” MPs, had affected the image of the Maoists. Continue reading