Bhattarai, Shrestha set to up the ante against Dahal

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu
Bhattarai, Shrestha set to up the ante against Dahal

Apr 30, 2014-

Senior UCPN (Maoist) leaders Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha are all set to come down heavily on party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s “failure” to implement measures to transform the party after the November 19 poll debacle.

Though two leaders have not joined hands, party sources say, they are making preparations separately on the same agenda—transformation of the party and its leaders to retain party’s proletariat image—for the closed session of national convention beginning Thursday in Biratnagar.

Immediately after the November 19 election, a Central Committee meeting had decided to take immediate measures to uphold the party’s communist ideals and prevent the sprouting of new classes inside the party.  

 In the Maoist party discourse, the word “transformation” means changing the luxurious lifestyle of the party leaders and maintaining the communist image of the party. According to leaders, the party’s image is fast eroding after they joined the peaceful politics in 2006.

“I am expecting a transformation of the party from this convention,” Bhattarai wrote on his Twitter post before leaving for Biratnagar.

Despite differences on other issues, the two share the view that some leaders are amassing property, giving raise to new classes in the party—haves and have nots.

 They say the party lacks a system of reward and punishment, with the party chairman still enjoying monopoly on the power and resources. The party has failed to implement a scientific account system as decided by the CC meeting to make party’s financial transactions more transparent. Shrestha complains that leaders and cadres who joined the UCPN (Maoist) after 2006 are largely being ignored and are without any responsibility in the party.  

He also claims Dahal and Bhattarai are still indulging in factional politics in spite of a CC decision to end such practice in the party immediately.

More recently, Shrestha and Bhattarai have cut down on their luxurious lifestyles. Giving up private vehicle, Shrestha has started commuting in public transportation saying that a communist leader’s lifestyle should be on par with the general public.

Bhattarai has announced not to attend any programmes at luxury hotels in order to curtail unnecessary expenses, said his aid Bisodeep Pandey.  

Both the leaders had expected the party chairman and other leaders to embrace similar measures.

 “I will raise the issue related to transformation of the party leadership and cadres accordingly. Until the party chairman set an example on party rebuilding, it’s difficult to imagine a national convention to yield the desired results,” Shrestha said.

At the convention, Bhattarai is also expected to raise the issue of necessity to form a new political force to salvage the communist movement in Nepal. Dahal, in his political document, has included Bhattarai’s agenda of new political force. Bhattarai will propose to transform the party into a new political force through the transformation in the ideology and organisations, according to leaders close to the former prime minister.

Published: 01-05-2014 08:35

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