Nepal: Maoist factions agree to embrace (at arms’ length) for 60 days

by Bhola Rana, in Nepal Today

Kathmandu, 29 March: – Despite sharp ideological and political differences, UCPN (Maoist) will remain united at least till May 27 as an informal meeting of the Central Committee members of establishment faction on Wednesday recognised the parallel functioning of party’s hard-line faction led by party’s Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
Though the establishment faction led by party’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was all set to hold an official CC meeting, they held only the informal meeting in the request of Baidya faction and unveiled a separate policy and programme to “create an appropriate environment to conclude peace and constitution writing processes”.
The meeting also decided to organise a separate programme to mark party establishment day on April and a grand mass meeting on May 1 in Kathmandu for peace, constitution and labour rights. The meeting also decided to declare a union of those disqualified combatants and who opted for volunteer retirement and to initiate a campaign for peace and constitution within the deadline.
The hardliners few days ago had unveiled their own policies and programmes highlighting the need of revolt to ensure people’s constitution.
With this, the rival factions will function separately with their respective policies and programmes. The establishment faction led by Dahal and Bhattarai will work for peace and constitution while hard-liners will make preparations for possible revolt.
‘High hope of constitution’
Meanwhile, addressing the informal meeting, Dahal expressed full confidence that a new constitution will be drafted within May 27. He said there have been positive talks among political parties and “chances of a compromise on most disputed issues” of peace and constitution appears thick.
Dahal, however, said that no agreement has been forged on contentious issues of peace and constitution. “Politics is heading towards consensus and compromise,” a leader quoted Dahal as saying in the meeting. According to the leader, Dahal said the issue of rank, education and standards and norms of integration of the former Maoist combatants are yet to be settled. “Once the issues related to integration of combatants are settled there is a high change of compromise on forms of governance,” he said.
Dahal informed party men that there has been comfortable and positive discussion among parties on the issue of federalism, the most disputed issue of constitution drafting, in the recent days. “Chairman (Dahal) was fully confidence that a “consensual constitution will be promulgated on May 27,” politburo member Hematna Prakash Oli said. He also said that if Nepali Congress and CPN-UML refused to accept identity-based federalism, the Janajati lawmakers from those parties will revolt and come to support the Maoists.
Taskforce to manage commune
The informal CC meet also decided to form a three-member taskforce led by Standing Committee member Krishna Bahadur Mahara to manage and revive Maoist communes stationed in different parts of the country. The taskforce also comprises Standing Committee member Giriraj Mani Pokhrel and politburo member Devendra Poudel. Many communes developed during the conflict area in the far-western and eastern districts are on the verge of collapse as the families are leaving the commune.
Maoist had developed the concept of communes as a shelter for party cadres and for production related works. The taskforce will recommend the party headquarters about managing communes. The meeting also decided to take concrete steps for the management of party cadres.

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