ITAHARI: The impact of the newly formed Communist Party of Nepal, Maoist (CPN,M), the breakaway faction of the UCPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidhya, is largely weak in the four state committees — Kochila, Limbuwan, Kirat and Mithila states in the east.
Those deemed loyal to Mohan Baidhya stayed away from the faction’s national gathering held in Kathmandu. The absence of some influential leaders in the national conclave has given a blow to the newly-formed party.
As of Tuesday, very few leaders and cadres from the east have parted ways from the mother party and joined the breakaway faction.
The Baidhya-led party’s grip in Kochila seems to be satisfactory. Baidhya has substantial grip over cadres in Sunsari. Though the new party’s influence in Morang appears to be moderately strong, its clout in Jhapa is very weak. According to a source, Sabitri Kumar Kafle (Samar) will lead Kochila state of the CPN, M. Samar was sub-secretary of Kochila in the Unified CPN-Maoist.
Padam Rai heads Kirat Rajya Committee of the new party. He was sub-in-charge of the UCPN-Maoist Kirant Rajya Committee.
Roshan Janakpuri has been made secretary of Mithila State Committee. Mahendra Paswan has been given charge of both Bhojpura and Mithila states. Okhaldhunga, party in-charge Mohan Khadka and 60 per cent members of the District Committee have joined the new party.
Baburam Rai and Sangita Gari former PLA brigadiers who opted for voluntary retirement have joined the Baidhya camp.
All Nepal Farmers’ Union vice-chairman Subash Agasti (Jhapa), All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union (Revolutionary)’s central members Prahlad Raut (Sunsari), Jayaram Sundas (Morang), Dalit Morcha’s central secretariat members Dipal Lakandri (Jhapa), Umita Baraili (Sunsari), Limbuwan Mukti Mrcha’s central secretary Kanchha Lawati (Ilam) have joined the CPN, M.
Some leaders say that Baidhya’s party has greater control in the east when the influence of the three different factions led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Baburam Bhattarai and Narayankaji Shrestha are considered. Aaditya, a Baidhya supporter, said Baidhya has greater clout and control across the country among Maoist cadres.
The split in the UCPN-M has disappointed neutral Maoist cadres. UCPN-M central member Dilip Sah complained, “Cadres are compelled to be divided reluctantly due to wrangling between top leaders”.
Sah charged that the top leaders had split the party for their personal interest. He said both party and country would lose a lot from the division. UCPN-Maoist central adviser Kunta Sharma said the party split had let her down.
“The split has weakened the UCPN-Maoist,” Sharma said adding, Dahal and Baburam have failed to meet people’s aspirations and got deviated from party policy”.
UCPN-Maoist leader Gopal Kirant said that it was the saddest moment in his life. “I heard the news of party split through local FM in Solu. I was very upset.”
The division in the party has disappointed lower level UCPN-M activists. UCPN-M Bhojpura member Trilochana Lohara said the split was unfortunate.
UCPN-Maoist Terhathum District Secretariat member Raghu Gautam said that activists should press the leadership of both parties to unite.
The split in the UCPN-M is likely to strain family relation of different Maoist leaders and cadres. Almost half a dozen couples in Kochila State Committee have been divided. Kochila State Committee member and Sunsari sub-in-charge Saraswoti Pokhrael(Sharada) has joined the Baidhya-led CPN, M while her husband Shiva Dangi is Kochila State Committee Secretariat member of the UCPN-M. Likewise, Kochila State Committee member Rachana and Yogesh too have parted ways politically. Rachana has joined CPN, M where as Yogesh(husband) is with UCPN-M. Kochila state committee members Umita Baraili and her husband Dipesh Pariyar too have chosen different parties. Umita has been openly supporting Baidhya while Dipesh is with UCPN-Maoist.
The impact of the division can be felt in different families as well. Members of the same family too have supported separate parties. On victim of the party division said the split had them worried that families might fall apart.