Thapa ousts Baidya, takes over party reins

  • Majority of Central Committee members for unity with UCPN (Maoist)
  • leadership coup in CPN-Maoist
- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu

May 15, 2016-

The CPN-Maoist witnessed an internal coup on Saturday, as General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ousted Chairman Mohan Baidya to take over the party reins, paving the way for party’s merger with the UCPN (Maoist).

Thapa’s move came a day after Baidya called off party’s scheduled Central Committee (CC) meeting. 

Thapa is said to have the support of more than two thirds of CC members. 

Pampha Bhusal, party spokesperson and a leader close to Thapa, said that the party decided to appoint [Thapa] as the new chairperson after efforts to convince Baidya on plan to merge CPN-Maoist with the mother party failed. “A formal announcement of merger will be made in a week,” she said. 

The party has also formally endorsed the new chairman’s 13-point proposal for its unity with the UCPN (Maoist). 

Later on Saturday, UCPN (Maoist) also took a formal decision to go for merger with other Maoist parties under the leadership of its Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

Earlier this week, Thapa had reached an understanding with Dahal for unity between the CPN-Maoist and UCPN (Maoist), which had parted ways in June 2012 citing “ideological differences”.

Along with Baidya, senior leaders including CP Gajurel too had been opposing the idea of merging with the UCPN (Maoist).

Thapa’s Saturday’s move has not only ensured the CPN-Maoist’s merger with the UCPN (Maoist) but has also paved the way for him to assume the post of general secretary in “new united party”.

Leaders close to Thapa claimed that Baidya was expelled after he failed to act as per the mandate of the party’s most powerful organ--the CC. No one from the Baidya faction was available for comments. 

CPN-Maoist Vice-Chairman Gajurel on Thursday had described Thapa’s deal with the UCPN (Maoist) as “surrender”. He claimed that Thapa’s move was driven by personal ambitions instead of genuine cause.  

Leaders involved in the negotiations said that preparations are afoot to make the formal announcement of the unification on Wednesday.

Besides CPN-Maoist, other Maoist forces including Matrika Yadav-led CPN (Maoist), Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party Nepal and some from Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist have agreed to join the unification process, according to leaders. 

The parties have agreed to form a 499-member central coordination committee to prepare the ground for unification. The “new united party” is said to have a 75-member standing committee and half of the members will be from the UCPN (Maoist).

Mani Thapa of Revolutionary Communist Party Nepal said that there has been an agreement on a rough framework of unification among the top leaders of parties that are set to unite with the UCPN (Maoist). 

“There has been basic understanding on crucial issues like leadership, organisational set-up and ideology of the new party,” said Mani Thapa. Negotiators said that Dahal, Thapa, Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Dev Gurung have been handed over the responsibility to prepare the political document of the “new party”.  Likewise, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Barshaman Pun, Hitman Shakya and Kul Bahadur KC have been appointed to decide on organisational set-up.  

Leaders have said the “new united party” will follow Marxism, Leninism and Maoism as its guiding principle “to achieve the goal of socialist revolution”. 

‘Conspiracy going on’

Ousted CPN-Maoist chairman Mohan Baidya has said he has sensed some kind of conspiracy in Ram Bahadur Thapa’s deal for merger with the UCPN (Maoist). In a statement issued late on Saturday, Baidya, however, stressed the need for unity among “true revolutionary forces”. “But imperialists, expansionists, domestic reactionaries and rightist revisionists want to see revolutionary forces fall in a quicksand of parliamentarism and right-wing politics and their eventual demise,” said Baidya in the statement. “There is a conspiracy going on.” (PR)

Published: 15-05-2016 07:33

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