There he said it. It needed to be said. He finally said it. He should have said it months, nay years ago. But Kiran has finally broken his peace. The latest news from the ongoing Central Committee meeting of the UCPN(Maoist) reports that Kiran has tabled a political document that accuses Prachanda of “revisionism, eclecticism, reformism and dishonesty”. This is perhaps the first time in the long two-line struggle that has characterized the Party’s inner-politics in the last few years that anyone has been explicitly been accused of being engaged in ‘revisionism’ and ‘reformism’, although such epithets have often been bandied about. Furthermore, such denunciations have largely been reserved for Baburam Bhattarai and his line, and have never been addressed at Prachanda himself. However, in recent years one can see a marked change in the personage of Dahal and it is difficult to picture him as the ‘the fierce one’ any longer. It is unlikely that any revolt will occur in the coming months and the Party seems to be nearing a split, although the remarkable thing about the UCPN(Maoist) has been its capacity to reinvent itself through a process of political transformation. There has been a prevalent assumption that if there was to be a vertical split in the Party that it would have resulted in a Prachanda-Kiran faction and a Bhattarai faction, this is no longer the case.
It is no secret that the Bhattarai faction has been calling for a congress for years. However, this is the first time that the Kiran faction has joined that chorus. The Prachanda faction has always opposed a congress as they have the most to lose as many of their faction would have to step aside to make place for a new Party leadership and bureaucracy that will inevitable emerge (the question of how the factions are represented in the Party is already itself a major point of contention that has led to this political impasse). It seems more than likely than ever that a general congress is going to be called to ensure that a premature split does not occur. The ideal situation would be an election of a new leadership and line going forward. Thus, one would ideally see Kiran’s line of general revolt being adopted on the basic revolutionary strategic questions and Bhattarai’s line on inner-party democracy and social programming also being adopted. Prachanda ideally would be demoted from the Chairmanship and would have to engage in a process of clear rectification, as it is the problem of eclecticism and dishonesty that are the most damaging.
That of course is the most ideal situation and the least likely to occur, although if there is a Party in which such a thing could occur it is the UCPN(Maoist). However, the very real possibility of a split looms. It is clear that Prachanda and several of his lieutenants are no longer trusted by either Bhattarai or Kiran and their respective factions, and it would be difficult to imagine him being in either leader’s faction for a very long period of time. Thus, one would imagine a small Prachanda-led party and a small Bhattarai-led party in the electoral sphere, and a Kiran faction in the extra-parliamentary sphere. I have argued that ideally there would be some form of political rapprochement between the Bhattarai and Kiran factions as they have both helped produce a vibrant and dynamic Party and political line which has aided in its political rise. There have been repeated instances in which the Kiran faction has defended Bhattarai from disciplinary action in recent months, despite the fact that at the time it was clear that Bhattarai’s line could have been as easily explicitly been accused of “revisionism” and “reformism”. Indeed, one may be able to accuse Bhattarai of many things, but he has never been ‘eclectic’ or ‘dishonest’. A twist on this could be a situation in which a Party congress occurs and results in the demotion of Prachanda and him walking out of the Party with his faction in protest, and leaving Bhattarai and Kiran in one Party that follows democratic centralism.
It is a pity that it has taken so much time and energy to finally recognize something that both those inside and outside of the Party had realized a ling time ago: the Party needs to have a Party congress to actually map out the way forward. No longer can expanded politbureau, CC, and plenum meetings suffice. The Party should have held a congress many years ago when it entered into the peace process and its failure to do so has reduced it to a dithering Party. However, Kiran finally said it and now the Party can take a collective step forward and reorient itself to the project of revolution and a communist Nepal. This will be a most difficult test of the inner strength of the Party and its capacity to actually engage in the process of ‘unity-split-transformation’ which they have been so proud of.
KATHMANDU, April 24: UCPN (Maoist) leaders from the party hard-line faction strongly objected to the political document presented by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal who has proposed deferring the line of revolt and focusing on peace and constitution.
“The new proposal amounts to surrender to regressive forces,” a leader quoted Dev Gurung as saying. He appeared more aggressive than any other leader who spoke on Saturday.
Gurung also accused Dahal of quitting the party´s vital stances since he became the coordinator of the subcommittee of the CA´s Constitutional Committee.
Similarly, Netra Bikram Chand argued that there was no need to change the party´s line of revolt. “There are no fundamental changes in the objective reality since the Palungtar plenum. So it is wrong to change the line of revolt,” a leader quote Chand as saying.
Chand, who is close to Baidya and is an ardent advocate of revolt, was gentle in his voice but heavily criticized Dahal for changing the line.
CP Gajurel was also very critical of Dahal. “Though we cannot fix a point of time for a revolt, there is no alternative to a revolt. So the party should make preparations and wait for an opportune time,” a leader quoted Gajurel as saying. Gajurel, who is also from Baidya camp, said that the party should formulate policy and programs aimed at achieving the revolutionary goals set ahead of the ´people´s war.
On the other hand, party vice-chairman Dr Baburam stated that he fully supports Dahal´s proposal, and added that the party now needs a new set of leadership on various fronts to implement the party´s programs.
General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa lent support to Dahal, but demanded that the chairman also bring out programs in case the party´s initiatives for peace and constitution fail.
Party standing committee member and Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara openly supported Bhattarai, while Amik Sherchan and Lilamani Pokhrel did not reveal their leanings to any leaders.
KATHMANDU, April 23: Expressing dissent over Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s political document, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya presented a separate document at the party central committee (CC) meeting on Friday, demanding preparations for an immediate revolt to capture state power and write a ´people´s constitution.´
“The chairman has deviated from the party´s revolutionary goals. If the party is to agree to a constitution without ensuring socio-political changes, why did we ask so many to sacrifice their lives,” a leader quoted Baidya as saying at the CC.
Baidya was of the opinion that the country already had the 1990 constitution and the sacrifice of so many people cannot be justified if the party is to accept the spirit of that constitution.
In tones of someone badly cheated, Baidya accused Dahal of “revisionism, eclecticism, reformism and dishonesty”, and said the chairman had betrayed the proletariat and deviated from the party´s goals.
Baidya, who leads the party´s hardline camp, is not for concluding the peace process and constitution drafting through compromises with other parties.
“We should not opt for an integration process that humiliates PLA personnel,” a leader quoted Baidya as saying.
The Maoist senior vice-chairman argued that the Maoist leadership doesn´t want to become mentally prepared to launch a revolt, though the objective situation is conducive for this.
“The reactionary parties are undergoing political crisis while the people are enraged by the government´s inability to solve the problems the country is facing. So the ground is becoming ready for revolt, but the party lacks preparations for that,” he said.
The Baidya faction has argued that the central committee cannot overturn a decision taken by the party plenum. The party CC held immediately after the Palungtar plenum last November endorsed the line of revolt.
“We would not accept an anti-people constitution and the silence of the grave. Otherwise we had better follow the line of Mohan Bikram Singh and Madan Bhandari,” said a leader close to Baidya.
Party hardliners say they would see how the chairman reacts to Baidya´s document and then chart out their strategy.
“The floor is now open. It is yet to be seen how the chairman embraces the message of the Paluntar plenum, and we´ll forge our strategy accordingly,” said Kul Prasad KC of the Baidya faction.
At the CC meeting, Dahal presented his political document proposing that the party defer the line of immediate revolt and focus on completion of peace and the constitution.
Acknowledging deepening differences among the leaders, Maoist Chairman Dahal said that the party can hold a general convention by next February to settle to all outstanding feuds.
General convention will be the right solution to fix ideology differences that has weakened the party and created several cracks, a leader quoted Dahal as saying.
The faction led by Dr Baburam Bhattarai has long been demanding a general convention, which is 20 years overdue. The party establishment has been postponing the general convention citing an unfavorable political situation.
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Unified CPN-M standing committee members were divided over party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s proposal stating that the party’s official line of people’s revolt be dropped, at the central committee meeting today.
Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai said Dahal’s document was basically correct but it should incorporate the issue of forming a national consensus government. He also said the party should change the idea of the principal enemy of the Nepali people.
Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha also said Dahal’s document was correct as it had incorporated neo-Marxism.
However, standing committee member Amik Sherchan questioned where the revolution was heading, while General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa said there was no basic difference between Dahal’s and Baidhya’s documents, so they should be merged.
Secretary C P Gajurel said the party did not have three factions and only a two-line struggle existed. “Now chairman Dahal has adopted Bhattarai’s line deserting Baidhya’s,” he said during the meeting.
Standing Committee member and Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara confessed he had erroneously presented the draft of the extradition treaty at the legislature parliament, which had now been returned.
Standing committee member Dev Gurung explained the essence and significance of Baidhya’s political document at this critical juncture of the Nepali political scenario. He alleged that Dahal was heading towards ‘national surrender’.
Another standing committee member Netra Bikram Chand alleged that Dahal was more focused on the internal struggle within the party and had forgotten class struggle
The standing committee members on Baidhya’s side were Dev Gurung, Amik Sherchan, C P Gajurel, Netra Bikram Chand and Lilamani Pokhrel; while Shrestha, Bhattarai, Post Bahadur Bogati, Dinanath Sharma, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Giriraj Mani Pokhrel and Mahara supported Dahal.
A politburo member close to Baidhya claimed that among the 95 central committee members, who had waged the people’s war, Baidhya had hold on a majority of them.