The barb between the hardliners and the party establishment within the UCPN (Maoist) saw a new level of intensity on Wednesday as hardliners hurled personal broadside against party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, calling him a “comprador” and a “sell-out”. During the ongoing Central Committee (CC) meeting of the party on Wednesday, not even Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai was spared from personal attacks. According to some leaders, the attack was one of fiercest in the party’s internal deliberation since the party entered peaceful politics in 2006.
“Dahal and PM Bhattarai are working under the guidance of expansionist and imperialistic forces, the signing of BIPPA is a classic example of it,” said Ram Bahadur Thapa, party general secretary and leader of the hard-line camp, in the meeting. He also accused Dahal of compromising with other parties on the core issues of constitution drafting in the dispute resolution subcommittee formed under the Constitutional Committee.
The group of four in the hard-line camp—Thapa, CP Gajurel, Dev Gurung and Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’—used words such as “comprador”, “rightist”, “reformist”, “individualistic” and “feudal” to describe Dahal and Bhattarai during the deliberation. The leaders threatened to split the party, arguing that there was no point in staying together if the party leadership didn’t change itself. They said ideology and people were more worthy for them than the party.
Chand told the CC meeting that the party can split to save revolution and continue class struggle. Comparing chairman to a pimp, Chand lambasted Dahal for ‘selling out’ the party’s agendas.
Speaking in the meeting, PM Bhattarai, who is also party vice-chairman supported Dahal’s document, stating that the party was moving ahead according to the decisions made by Chunwang meeting, which had decided to adopt the path of multiparty democracy in 2005.
“We are just implementing the decision endorsed by Chunwang meeting,” said Bhattarai. “Baidya’s document is divorced from ground reality and it could not move the revolution ahead,” CC member Kumar Poudel quoted PM as saying in the meeting.
Another Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha also supported Dahal’s document but underlined some weaknesses made by Dahal. Standing Committee member Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Amik Sherchan stressed unity in the party. They lambasted both factions. Party Secretary Post Bahadur Bogati defended Dahal’s document.
A leader from the Dahal camp said, hard-line faction wants to sabotage the peace and constitution-writing processes. “They will try to sabotage the peace and constitution writing, only if that fails they will split the party to get the job done,” he said.