Government to invite Chand party for dialogue

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Nov 4, 2018-

The high-level political talks team formed by the government is preparing to officially invite the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal for dialogue right after the Tihar festival.

A panel member said they would discuss the former Maoist splinter group’s demands if the outfit agree to sit for talks. The CPN is holding a crucial meeting of its high-command. The party has announced a rally in Kathmandu on November 24 but has yet to decide the venue since the Khula Manch ground has been occupied.

The talks team is laying the ground for negotiations with the party before the mass meeting. A letter will be sent to the party as demanded, said Leela Bhandari, a member of the panel.

Following suggestions from the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal for a track II approach to dealing with the outfit, the team used informal channels to reach out to the Chand party leaders.

Some CPN leaders claimed that the party would have formal talks once the government recognises the group as a political force and withdraws all the “fake” cases against its leaders and cadres.

The talks panel has met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, NCP leaders Madhav Nepal and Bishnu Poudel, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel, and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal presidium for suggestions on the way to mainstream the party that has boycotted elections.

All the central leaders including Spokesperson Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma were freed from police custody in coordination with the talks team in an effort to create the environment for dialogue. After the government received vital information from CPN Spokesman Biswokarma on the party’s plans to recruit militants and to procure weapons through donations, the government had re-arrested several of its central leaders despite repeated orders of the Supreme Court to release them.

Though some CPN leaders seemed eager to come for talks, dialogue team members and government officials

said they were not sure if the CPN was sincere about the engagement.

“Since they were weakened after the government arrested major leaders and acquired vital information [about the party], they are just trying to regain strength,” said Indrajit Rai, security advisor to the home minister.Since the CPN is the most significant political force outside the constitutional ambit, the government has taken it as a major security threat.

The Chand party is also considering merger with the Mohan Baidya-led CPN Revolutionary Maoists and the Gopal Kirati-led CPN (Maoist Centre). All the leaders have worked under Dahal in the erstwhile Maoist party.

Published: 04-11-2018 07:03

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