Nepal: Establishment Maoists postpone day of reckoning, again

Thursday, December 22, 2011

UCPN (Maoist) puts off CC meeting, again


KATHMANDU, Dec 22: The UCPN (Maoist) has postponed its Central Committee (CC) meeting slated for Friday. It is the fourth time that the party establishment has put off its CC meeting.

While the party establishment has attributed the postponement to lack of internal homework, the hardliners have accused Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal of continuously deferring the meeting to avoid backlash from the CC members for his “ideological deviation and moral erosion.”

Though the party has rescheduled the meeting for Saturday, the radical faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya doubts if Dahal will hold any CC meeting anytime soon.

“The party chairman has the strategy of deferring the meeting until he gains an edge over the Baidya faction. So I think the party establishment will continue to defer the CC meeting instead of facing the wrath of the CC members over Dahal´s handling of the party,” said CC member Maheshwar Dahal, who is close to Baidya faction.
The party CC has not taken any decision since August when it endorsed the candidacy of Bhattarai as the new prime minister.  But Shakti Basnet, who is close to Chairman Dahal, refuted Maheshwar Dahal´s statement.  “The party is holding the meeting on Saturday. The Friday´s meeting was postponed for lack of homework,” Basnet said.

Sources say the meeting was postponed after Dahal and Baidya could not reach an agreement on the agenda of the meeting. At the meeting in Dahal´s residence, Baidya had asked Dahal to either come up with political programs to implement the “revolutionary” line of Palungtar plenum, or present a separate policy document outlining his departure from the line of the plenum.

But, Dahal, according to sources, just told Baidya that the party should conclude the peace process and then chart out another strategy. “So the meeting between the two leaders was inconclusive,” said the sources.

The UCPN (Maoist) has been left without any political programs since the indefinite general strike in May 2010. Dahal, backed by Baidya, had passed the line of revolt in the central committee meeting in December, held immediately after the Palungtar plenum, but no political program to implement the line of revolt was brought out by the chairman.

And suddenly in April, Dahal swung back to the line of peace and constitution and got his document endorsed with the backing from Bhattarai. But Dahal had ambiguously argued in the document that he still holds on to the Palungtar line.

According to sources, Dahal doesn´t want to hold a CC meeting after the Narayankaji Shrestha and Amik Sherchan factions said they would judge the agendas issue-wise and won´t lend blanket support to any faction. Without the backing of Shrestha and Serchan, there is danger of the party establishment falling short of majority in the CC.

Baidya has raised many issues, including the return of the seized land, signing of BIPPA with India, PLA integration, and financial irregularities in cantonments and party, among other things. The hardline faction has already distributed a 13-point circular among the leaders, outlining their dissent in the party.

The party central committee members are divided over the issues and are less likely to lend blanket support to any specific issues.

For example, Shrestha and Serchan groups are against the signing of BIPPA with India, while all other factions, except the one led by Dahal, stand together against Dahal on the issue of finances. Similarly, even the leaders close to Dahal are against sending home the PLA personnel opting for voluntary retirement.

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