|KATHMANDU, June 4: The hard-line faction led by senior Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya in the Maoist party is increasingly impatient with Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and has registered notes of dissent against almost every decision the party has taken in recent times.In the party standing committee meeting on Friday, Baidya put up stiff resistance to the proposals on the peace process forwarded by Chairman Dahal.Sources say Baidya was so aggressive against the decision to end the dual security for party leaders that Dahal had to postpone the meeting for Saturday.
The party hardliners have argued that the decision to move ahead with the integration process prior to ensuring a constitution of “People´s Federal Democratic Republic” amounts to surrender, something that runs counter to the party´s commitment for peace made just ahead of the Constituent Assembly (CA) term extension on May 29.
“We will see how leadership trades the blood of the thousands of party cadres with power,” says Maoist leader and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma, who is close to Baidya.
But what option does Baidya faction have if the party establishment presses ahead with the “peace and constitution line”?
Hard rhetoric notwithstanding, the options are limited before the hardliners.
Dahal and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai command a majority in the party´s three apex bodies — standing committee, politburo committee, and central committee (CC), so Baidya faction cannot challenge and change party´s line for peace and constitution.
All that the hardliners can do is demand for a politburo or CC meeting and register another note of dissent.
What will then be their medium or long term strategy? More specifically, will they stay in the party that they have accused of having fallen into the trap of dirty parliamentary politics?
Again, here too the hardliners seem to have limited options. They also don´t want to take the blame of splitting the party that has been formed with “the blood and sweat of thousands of people.”
“We will not split the party. We will do what we can do by staying in the party and I think we will succeed,” says Bishwakarma.
Dahal and Bhattarai also seem to have calculated that it won´t be easy for the hardliners to split the party. “Nowadays it is easy to get two parties united, but it´s difficult to split a party,” says Maoist leader Ganga Shrestha who is close to Bhattarai.
But there is an increasing call in the radical camp to save the party´s revolutionary line and spirit.
In one of the recent meetings, party leaders CP Gajurel, Dev Gurung and Pampha Bhusal spoke aggressively against the “unending series of compromises being made by the chairman and his ideological deviation.”
They argued that the party has already been trapped in the quicksand of parliamentary politics. “We must begin anew if we want to save the revolutionary line,” a leader who attended the meeting quoted Bhusal as saying.
Addressing a public function recently, Netra Bikaram Chand, a rallying figure in the Baidya camp said, “The wind from South [India] is blowing in Nepal; we wont surrender and keep the flame of revolution alive.”
Despite this impatience and a growing call to save party´s revolutionary spirit the hardline camp has since long been devoid of strategy or a plan of action to challenge Dahal.
This is not for the first time that Dahal has gone against the party´s line.
The Kharipati national conclave was held in 2008 when Dahal was the prime minister, but he never brought out any program to implement the line. Similarly, the party CC meeting held immediately after the Palungart plenum also endorsed the line of revolt jointly floated by Dahal and Baidya at that time, but Dahal, instead of implementing the line, defected to the line of peace in April.
The Baidya faction, however, doesn´t have any plan to split the party.
In a recent interview with Republica, Baidya said he would not split the party, claming that the party would ultimately adopt his “revolutionary line.”
What is Baidya faction´s strategy then?
It is the strategy of attrition to weaken Dahal by preventing him from taking steps toward the implementation of peace and constitution, while launching sensitization campaign among the cadres about the “ideological deviation” of Dahal.
In the meeting of subcommittee of the Constitutional Committee in the CA, party hardliner Dev Gurung has been vehemently opposing the compromises Dahal has made on the constitution drafting front. Such a strategy, the hardliners hope, will strengthen them enough to challenge Dahal´s position in the party and even form their own party sometimes in the future.