Nepal: A “party within the party” for revolutionary Maoists

[The line struggle within the UCPN(M) between the “people’s revolution” faction vs. the “bourgeois republic” faction has now led to separate organized forms within the overall-dysfunctional party.  While debates have led to organizing separate, and opposing, programmatic paths, the issues remain largely unsettled.  Chief among them seem to be: to re-ignite and carry forward the people’s revolutionary armed struggle, OR to squander the remaining (disarmed) PLA forces on ever-shrinking plans for integrating PLA fighters and officers into the Nepalese Army; the question of advancing land reform of the peasants against the feudal landlords, OR to permit the return of lands and privileges to the feudal system in the countryside; whether to advance the struggle for New Democracy with revolutionary communist leadership, OR to retreat further into the opportunist swamp of the bourgeois republic and neo-colonial/comprador relations.  Revolutionary politics once shaped and crystallized the mission of the people’s war; then, with the abandonment of the PW in 2006, the questions became confined to inner-party struggle.  Now the questions and debates and actions are returning to the streets and villages.  The revolutionary Nepalese people are looking to leaders like Kiran, Gajurel, and Thapa to step forward, and lead. — Frontlines ed.]

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Mohan Baidya "Kiran"

Nepal’s Maoist leader fires a salvo at his own party government

by Prashant Jha, The Hindu, Kathmandu, March 26, 2012

People are being betrayed on the Constitution, says Kiran

Senior vice-chairperson of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran’ has said if the integration of the People’s Liberation Army is not “respectable” and a People’s Federal Republican Constitution is not drafted, the Nepali people will have a “right to revolt” again. In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, Mr. Kiran reiterated the demand for the resignation of the government, led by his party colleague Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.

Saying there was an ongoing battle in the party between “right-wing revisionism” and “revolutionary Marxism”, Mr. Kiran said: “We are not against peace and Constitution. But the debate is if our party has made anti-people compromises.”

Hari Bol Gajurel

‘Mistakes’

Mr. Kiran said while the goal of a “democratic republic” — set by the Maoist party in 2005, which led to an alliance with other parties against the monarchy — was tactically right, it could not solve people’s problems and the party should have aimed to establish a “People’s Federal Republic” or a “People’s Democracy’. Asked if this meant one-party rule by the Maoists, he said: “Parliamentary democracy is also class hegemony where five per cent rule over 95 per cent. In people’s dictatorship, it would be the other way round.”

Pointing to mistakes committed by the party, the Maoist ideologue said that during the war they had created an “army, base areas, people’s governments”.

The base areas were opened up and the parallel governments dissolved soon after the Maoists entered open politics in 2006. Mr. Kiran claimed this was wrong and not in favour of the people whose issues Maoists had raised.

Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal'

“On integration of our army, the party stand was it should be collective and armed integration of combatants with the chain of command of PLA intact. But what is happening now is disarmament. A national security policy should have been framed first, but we did not pay attention to that either,” he said.

To have a people’s Constitution, Mr Kiran said, there be provisions for “ethnic autonomy; right to self determination; special rights for Dalits, Muslims and women; right to food, education, health and work; revolutionary land reform; and a proportional representation based electoral system”. “But we fear that Nepali people are being betrayed on the Constitution as well.”

Mr. Kiran also reiterated the demand for the government’s resignation. Accusing it of “surrendering to India”, he said: “It signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement [BIPPA] with India without consulting anyone. We had opposed unequal treaties in the past. But the Energy Minister of this government, from our own party, went and approved the Pancheshwor agreement in Delhi recently. They are now talking of a DPR [detailed project report] for the Kosi high dam, despite popular opposition.”

Party unity

The political rift within the Maoists has translated into operational disunity, with the establishment faction of chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai calling meetings of their own loyalists while Mr. Kiran’s dissident faction holds parallel meetings. Separate committees have been set up at all levels, separate offices are used as a base and independent programmes are held.

Admitting that it was an “unnatural” situation, Mr. Kiran called it a situation of a “party within a party, organisation within an organisation”. Asked if the party would split, he said: “That depends on the principles, political roadmap, tactics and strategy which the party will undertake. There is a complex two-line struggle at present. Can we take that forward and resolve it positively? Revolutionaries don’t split; they revolt. If the leadership turns opportunist; a federal, anti-imperial, pro people’s Constitution is not made; and if PLA is not respectfully integrated, Nepali people have the right to revolt.” Continue reading

Nepal: Maoist revolutionaries (“Hardliners”) fire salvo at Dahal, PM Bhattarai

KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu Post

KATHMANDU, DEC 28 –

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. Continue reading

Nepal–“Party Could Split if We are Suppressed”: Gajurel

Sunsari, Sep 15: UCPN (Maoist) Secretary CP Gajurel has warned that the party might split if the establishment does not correct its course. Stating that they do not want the party to split, Gajurel said, “We are trying hard not to split the party but if the establishment tries to suppress the others it might split.”Condemning the establishment for resorting to physical violence, Gajurel said that it would not yield any positivity. “Can’t we even have a healthy debate within the party? If the establishment wants to dominate we would not keep mum,” said Gajurel.Addressing a convention of Baidya-faction at Sunsari, Gajurel also accused Prime Minister and party Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai of deviating from his ideologies after being elected as the prime minister. Continue reading

Stalemate in Nepal: Which way forward for the UCPN(Maoist) and the Nepali people’s revolutionary struggle?

Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army during the People's War (1996-2006)

[With the approach of a much delayed meeting of the Central Committee Plenum of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the basic analysis of this article, which was published in April 2010, remains relevant to the political situation in the UCPN(Maoist) and in Nepal today.-ed]

 

by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group, April 4, 2010   (www.mlmrsg.com)

The central question facing the Unified Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) (UCPNM) is whether it can develop the political line, strategy and tactics to conquer state power and wield it in the service of the vast majority of the people of Nepal and the world.

This question has become the subject of discussion and debate throughout the world, ever since the Maoists in Nepal signed an agreement in 2006 to end their 10-year old people’s war. Over the years of the people’s war, the revolutionary forces had inspired people the world over, winning wave upon wave of victories and building both guerrilla zones and liberated areas which were beginning the work of a new society. The Peoples War in Nepal, it must be said, rekindled the spirit and hopes of revolution around the world. Their successes, winning nearly 80% of the territory of Nepal, had drawn such attention and acclaim that ending of the people’s war with the peace agreement of 2006 came as a great surprise and shock to many.

The course which has been followed since has been discussed and debated–and denounced or embraced–by various forces, because the Maoists had achieved so much prior to the 2006 agreement, and had seemed to be approaching nationwide victory. Why this change of course? Was this a departure from a new democratic revolutionary strategy, or was this a sophisticated move toward successfully winning the revolutionary struggle for power?

To answer this question, it must be determined whether Prachanda and the majority of the UCPNM leadership are leading the party and the masses of Nepal to complete the new democratic revolution and build socialism, or they are implementing a disorienting strategy— leading to a political “package deal” in the next few months–that will result in a major setback for the Nepali people’s revolutionary struggle.

I. Moving Towards a Package Deal in May 2010

After signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, Prachanda and his allies in the party leadership argued that winning a majority or a large plurality of the seats in the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections would allow them to start restructuring the state by peaceful means—by parliamentary politicking backed up by periodic street demonstrations called by the party. Continue reading