RAM KUMAR KAMAT
KATHMANDU: The radical faction of the Unified CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidhya may split from the party in few days if party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal fails to do something miraculous to placate them.
The faction held a parallel meeting of the central committee today, forcing the establishment side to postpone its meeting until tomorrow after it learnt about the strategies of the dissenting side.
The Baidhya faction may declare a new party after a national conclave it has called from June 15-19.
Baidhya loyalist CP Gajurel, who is the secretary of the party, said the patch-up was possible only if Dahal apologised publicly for his failures. He said party failed to complete peace process and constitution drafting mainly because Dahal deviated from party’s agendas. “Dahal led both peace process and drafting of the constitution. He failed on both fronts, and therefore, he needs to resign,” said Gajurel. Mahendra Paswan, another Baidhya loyalist, however, said patch-up with the establishment faction was impossible. “Dahal failed because he ignored party’s ideology. He did not want to help make a new constitution from the beginning or else he could have put the unsettled issues to the vote in the Constituent Assembly well on time,” Paswan argued.
Gajurel said Dahal had given them empty assurances many times and that they could no longer trust him.
Asked if they were preparing to launch a new party, Gajurel said they could either remain as renegade faction of the party for sometime or declare a new party. He held Dahal responsible for the dissolution of the CA, saying it was primarily his duty as the chief of Problem Resolution Sub-Committee of the erstwhile CA to expedite the process of drafting and promulgating the constitution. “CA thematic committees had submitted their final reports 18 months ago. Why did he not play a role to put those things to vote in the CA?” Gajurel questioned.
He said his faction could not be blamed for the dissolution of the CA or derailment of constitution-drafting process because faction leaders were not in the Maoists’ talks team. “We were in favour of saving the CA, but the establishment faction was adamant on dissolving it,” Gajurel argued.
On the issue of constitution, Gajurel said they agreed that they would now seek to make a new constitution through other alternatives and not a new Constituent Assembly. “We can make a new constitution even through a constitutional commission. We saw that it was the political parties that tried to make a new constitution, not the 601 members,” he added.
According to Paswan, the Baidhya faction would press for an-all party consensus government.
Gajurel said they would now forge an alliance with like-minded parties. Asked if they would go along with Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, he said his faction would join hands with them on the issue of forming an all-party consensus government.
According to Maoist CC member Ram Kumar Sharma, who is close to the establishment faction, their CC meeting was called off also because party leaders learnt today that party leader Nand Kishor Pun was suffering from renal failure.