Dahal’s snub irks party colleagues

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu
Dahal’s snub irks party colleagues

Jul 19, 2015-

UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has drawn criticism from his party colleagues for bypassing party’s international bureau during his India visit.

Dahal is returning on Monday after a week-long visit to India where he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, political party leaders and government officials.

According to Maoist party leaders, Dahal refused to incorporate members from international bureau in his delegation despite the visit being touted as “official” one. “It is a shame that our party chairman was accompanied by his spouse even in a meeting with India leaders,” a senior Maoist leader hits out at the party chief.

While national security advisor, foreign secretary and Indian ambassador to Nepal were present when Dahal met Modi, Nepali Ambassador to India and party leaders from Dahal’s side were absent, the leader said. “What it suggests is that Dahal does not trust anyone in the party.”

Before Dahal flew out for India, top leaders of the major parties had met to fix agendas of his visit, including to raise issues on Nepal-India relations, Biratnagar field office set up by India, Sino-Indian agreement on Lipu-Lekh. The leaders had reportedly struck an understanding among them to learn about India’s position on the constitution drafting during their impending visits.

“As per the party rules, a member of party’s international department should have been included in the delegation. Let’s see what the chairman says after he returns home,” said Maoist leader Devendra Poudel, who is close to senior leader Baburam Bhattarai. During the meeting, UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha had proposed that members from party’s international bureau be incorporated in the visiting delegation. After Dahal refused to do so. Shrestha wanted to register a note of dissent, but decided against it after Bhattarai told him that such a move would give a negative message at the time of chairman’s visit.  

Senior leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who was a part of the visiting Bhattarai delegation to New Delhi, had returned home after Bhattarai kept him away from meetings with Indian leaders.

Foreign Ministry and Nepal’s mission in India had earlier said that they had been kept in the dark about Dahal’s visit.

Published: 20-07-2015 08:03

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