Baidya’s lieutenants set to rejoin Dahal

  • Maoist ideologue braces for major setback with another split on cards
- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu

May 11, 2016-

Almost four years after they left the UCPN (Maoist) to form a separate Maoist party led by the ideologue Mohan Baidya, some key leaders are planning to return home, defecting from the CPN-Maoist. And the “homecoming” campaign is led by Ram Bahadur Thapa, Baidya’s lieutenant. The reason they want to quit the CPN-Maoist: Irreconcilable differences. 

Thapa, one of the architects of the Maoist “people’s war”, on Tuesday endorsed a political document through an informal meeting of the party’s Central Committee (CC), seeking unity with the UCPN (Maoist). The Badal faction has decided to wait for a few more days for a formal decision on account of ongoing negotiations within and outside the party.  

Badal’s move has pushed the Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, which was formed in June 2012, on the brink of yet another split. 

Negotiations on merger between the two Maoist parties have been going on for quite some time, but Baidya is said to have been reluctant to return to the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led Maoist party, citing ideological differences. 

CPN-Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, who is said to be close to Thapa, said that the CC “has agreed to go for unification even if Baidya stands against it”. 

Thapa had presented a 14-point document in the CC meet, outlining the unity proposal. Those who are for unity with the mother Maoist party say they have majority in the 199-member CC.

 “Our first priority is to go for unification under the leadership of party chairman [Baidya]. We have decided to wait for a few days to convince him. If that fails, the unification process will start,” said Bhusal, adding that the [Badal] faction would take a formal decision after negotiations with Baidya”.

Thapa enjoys support of some key leaders including Dev Gurung, Bhusal, Hitman Shakya and Lekhnath Neupane. They had parted ways with the UCPN (Maoist) in June 2012 soon after the dissolution of the first Constituent Assembly. 

If the Badal faction returns to the mother party, for the Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, it would be a second major setback. Earlier in 2014, Netra Bikram Chand, then secretary in the CPN-Maoist, had formed his own party after his proposal to launch another armed struggle was turned down. 

Later on Tuesday, Thapa and Gurung met Baidya at the latter’s residence to convince him to accept the unification proposal.  Baidya’s aides told the Post that the chairman refused the call. 

CPN-Maoist Vice-Chairman CP Gajurel and Hari Bhakta Kandel among others are with Baidya, standing firmly against merger with the UCPN (Maoist). 

The Maoist party, which joined peaceful politics in 2006, has in subsequent years suffered multiple splits, as leaders kept on leaving the mother party, accusing it of “deviating from ideology”.

Currently, there are seven offshoots of the UCPN (Maoist) led by Baidya, Baburam Bhattarai, Chand, Matrika Yadav, Mani Thapa, Pari Thapa and Hemanta Prakash Oli. The UCPN (Maoist) is the only significant party in national politics now, with splinter groups reduced to insignificant forces. The parties have been making efforts for unification since the UCPN (Maoist) suffered a huge loss in the second Constituent Assembly elections in 2013. The UCPN (Maoist) was the only Maoist force that had participated in the second CA elections.

A brief history of Maoist party

  • 1996: The CPN (Maoist) launches ‘people’s war’
  • 2006: The rebel party joins peaceful politics
  • 2008: The Maoist party secures spectacular win in CA elections
  • 2009: The party changes its name to UCPN (Maoist)
  • 2012: Mohan Baidya and other key leaders including Ram Bahadur Thapa quit the UCPN (Maoist)
  • 2013: The UCPN (Maoist) faces loss in CA elections
  • 2014: Baidya’s one of the trusted aides Netra Bikram Chand forms own party

Currently, there are seven offshoots of the UCPN (Maoist) led by Mohan Baidya, Baburam Bhattarai, Netra Bikram Chand, Matrika Yadav, Mani Thapa, Pari Thapa and Hemanta Oli

Published: 11-05-2016 08:43

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