Dahal, Bhattarai reach tacit deal not to split party until statute promulgation

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu

Aug 14, 2014-

Top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) have made a tacit understanding to keep the party united at least until a new constitution is promulgated. As parties have pledged to deliver a federal democratic republican constitution by February next year, the Maoist leaders were of the view that split in the party would be ‘counterproductive and hinder’ the statute drafting process.

The party would continue internal discussions to settle ideological and organisational differences between Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Baburam Bhattarai besides being involved in the constitution drafting process.

In meetings being held on a daily basis of late, Dahal and Bhattarai agreed to stop forming parallel party structures and send a team to districts to manage the dispute between two factions.

On ideological issues, Dahal and Bhattarai are ready to go for special general convention soon after the promulgation of the new constitution. If such conclave fails to bridge the gap between two leaders, party split is imminent, leaders said. The two leaders made an understanding at a time when Bhattarai is saying that Dahal’s position on promulgation of the new constitution is wavering. Bhattarai is said to be dissatisfied with Dahal’s alliance with four Maoist parties that are outside the statute drafting process.

Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha is pressing both leaders to maintain unity and focus on promulgation of new constitution. Bhattarai heads the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee, which is one of the powerful committees of the Constituent Assembly and is responsible for settling contentious issues of the new constitution.

 Dahal faction maintains that Bhattarai is abandoning the line of Marxism and wants to turn the UCPN (Maoist) into a bourgeois socialist party. They argue that it is not possible to change the party’s ideology as advocated by Bhattarai.

 “Party split is imminent because there are clear ideological differences in the party. However, we will hold internal discussions in the party to find out if there are any solutions,” said leader Haribol Gajurel. Devendra Poudel, a leader close to Bhattarai, said intra-party discussions are under way in order to keep the constitution drafting process at the central stage.  Poudel said both sides are ready to stop unilateral activities at the district level.

Internal rift in the party escalated after Dahal suspended two central committee members close to Bhattarai for defying party’s rules and regulations.

Published: 15-08-2014 09:15

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