Sans much help, BRB banks on comrades

Four dozen Maoistcentral leaders decideto join Baburam Bhattarai in his campaign to form new political force

Nov 4, 2015-In a major blow to the UCPN (Maoist), four dozen central leaders of the party on Tuesday decided to join Baburam Bhattarai, a senior leader who quit the party six weeks ago to form a new political force—much earlier than he planned to embrace them.

Sources privy to Bhattarai’s plans say the former prime minister had earlier wanted to draw those outside the political circle to his new political force first. But when his plan to infuse fresh blood into his new group by roping in prominent civil society leaders, thinkers, businessmen and individuals from various walks of life failed, Bhattarai invited his supporters from the UCPN (Maoist).

Following his advice, more than four dozen central leaders of the party decided to support Bhattarai’s bid to form a new political force. The leaders submitted a letter to the Maoist headquarters stating that they would support Bhattarai’s preparations to form a new party.

Though they have not mentioned ‘resignation’ in their paper, leader Kumar Poudel, close to Bhattarai, said they are no longer with the UCPN (Maoist). “We will not attend any meeting of the party now. We have severed all ties with the party,” Poudel told the Post.

On Monday, Bhattarai held a closed door meeting with his supporters. One-and-a-half months ago, when Bhattarai quit the party, he had asked his supporters to remain in the UCPN (M). His decision was with his belief that he should try to win over civil society members, intellectuals and businesspeople before announcing his political entity. He had argued that he did not want to split the party as other Maoist groups had done in the past: he instead wished to put together a new force.

In this period, Bhattarai held discussions with members from various sectors and tried to convince them why it is necessary to form a new political force. According to a leader close to him, Bhattarai did not receive encouraging feedback from those people and he urged his supporters to join his campaign.

Bhattarai wants to attract those individuals who have earned name and fame in various sectors and are not affiliated to any party. He also wants to bring in some youths from the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and other parties even though it has not yet materialised.

One of Bhattarai’s closest, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, however, remains with the party led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Rayamajhi is a deputy prime minister in the KP Oli-led government with energy portfolio.

On Tuesday, leaders including Hisila Yami, Ram Chandra Jha, Nawa Raj Subedi, Ram Rijhan Yadav, Kumar Poudel, Ganga Shrestha, Khim Lal Devkota, Ram Kumar Sharma and Devendra Poudel said they would support Bhattarai’s campaign.

Leaders loyal to Bhattarai have said they decided to leave the party after Chairman Dahal refused to reform the Maoist party. Poudel alleged that the UCPN (Maoist) had totally been a traditional parliamentary party.

The leaders criticised the UCPN (Maoist) move stating that it should be against its principles to be in the government with forces like the UML and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal.

“We will launch a nationwide campaign to form the new force,” said Poudel. According to him, after wide consultation, they would organise a national meeting of their supports to prepare their future strategy. Dahal had urged the leaders not to decide to abandon the party.

Published: 04-11-2015 08:39

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