Nepal: On the eve of UCPNM CC Plenum, Bhattarai’s meeting with party cadres blocked

UCPNM Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai

MyRepublica, October 29, 2010


BIRATNAGAR: In apparent manifestation of brewing conflict among the top party leadership, the UCPN (Maoist) Kochila State Committee has barred party Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai from holding meetings with party cadres in its area.

Kochila State Committee In-charge Haribol Gajurel issued verbal directives to party cadres not to hold a meeting on Thursday shortly after party leaders and cadres under the state committee were asked to attend a Jaycees function on Saturday at Tankisinuwari, Morang.

The move comes after Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya objected to such meetings, saying Dr Bhattarai was trying to solicit support to consolidate his ´hold´ at the party plenum. Leaders close to the two senior leaders said party leaders cannot hold meetings on individual basis.

Chairman Dahal and Vice-chairmen Bhattarai and Baidya presented three separate political papers on the party´s future course, at the central committee meeting in August. As unanimity on any of the papers was elusive, the central committee decided to table three papers at the plenum to finalize the party´s course. 

According to a source, Gajurel came to Biratnagar on Tuesday to thwart the scheduled gathering. “He returned after directing party leaders and cadres under Kochila State Committee not to attend the function,” added the source.

The source said Gajurel verbally directed party leaders and cadres to attend only functions at which all three leaders are present. Sources added that party leaders and cadres present at functions addressed by Dr Bhattarai alone have been threatened disciplinary action.

Dr Bhattarai is currently visiting various parts of the country to meet cadres and garner support for his political paper.

“I heard that Dr Bhattarai is visiting Biratnagar. But Dr Bhattarai himself has not said anything about it,” Gajurel said by phone from Kathmandu.  Gajurel said though it is natural to have a simple meeting, it is not good to call meetings of party cadres 
to lobby them on the eve of the party plenum.

A senior Maoist leader in Kochila, seeking anonymity, said the meeting was called to make Bhattarai´s views clear to party leaders and cadres. “Dr Bhattarai plans to solicit support from cadres not in his favor by elucidating his views on the current political situation,” added the leader. “Fear has gripped Dahal and Baidya that their supporters could join Dr Bhattarai´s fold.”

However, Co-incharge of Maoist Kochila State Committee Ganga Shrestha said the scheduled meeting will take place at any cost. He said Dr Bhattarai will make clear the current political situation and his line. “I have arranged the meeting as Dr Bhattarai wants to meeting party cadres here,” said Shrestha.

Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, widely regarded as close to Bhattarai, said party policy prohibits central-level leaders from participating in debates on political papers with intent to influence such debate.

According to the policy endorsed by the central committee, a central-level leader is required to obtain party clearance if s/he wishes to participate in such debates.

“The objective of the policy is to ensure decency in such debates and encourage independent analysis of the papers [by cadres],” Rayamajhi told Republica. “The policy is not targeted against any particular leader, it applies to all.”

However, no one can restrict the movement of leaders at local level. “Nobody has power to prevent Prachanda [Dahal], Kiran [Baidya] and Baburam from meeting cadres.”

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