Why Maoist parties have jumbo CCs
KATHMANDU, April 18: The general conventions of the two Maoist parties — Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led UCPN (Maoist) and Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist — had concluded with decisions to go for slim central committees (CC), arguing that these would run more smoothly. But in the end, both the Maoist parties have formed jumbo CCs, in clear disregard of the mandates given them by the general conventions.
While the UCPN (Maoist) has decided to form a 399-member CC and it already has 236 members now, the CPN-Maoist is going for a CC of 151 members, of which it already has 144. The general conventions had mandated only a 151-member CC for the UCPN (Maoist) and a 51- member CC for the CPN-Maoist. Interestingly, neither party could give full shape to its CC at its general convention and finally both parties have ended up with the jumbo committees.
They formed the large committees taking advantage of loopholes in the party statutes that allow the number of CC alternative numbers to be decided according to necessity. The Maoists had initially formed a jumbo committee after merger with the Narayan Kaji Shrestha-led CPN (Unity Centre-Masal). Interestingly, the Maoists had run their 10-year people´s war with only a 35-member CC.
What are the main reasons forcing formation of big CCs? The first reason is to stop party leaders from joining the rival Maoist party. Earlier, the UCPN (Maoist) had formed a jumbo CC to stop its people from the joining CPN-Maoist. Following the formation of the UCPN (Maoist) jumbo CC, it became a compulsion for the CPN-Maoist also to form a big CC in order to stop its leaders from the joining the Dahal-led Maoists. It was the Dahal-led Maoist party that first formed a jumbo CC, and the Baidya-led Maoists followed suit. For the Dahal-led Maoists, one of the reasons is the politics of factions and sub-factions within the party.
It is a compulsion to form a big CC to maintain a balance among the three major factions– those of Dahal and the two vice-chairmen Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha. Not only these factions, but there is also a compulsion to maintain a balance among the sub-factions within major factions. Similarly, another reason is that the senior leaders could not supress their desire to promote their own near and dear ones. In both the Maoist parties, some were nominated as CC members just because they were the spouses or close relatives of senior leaders.
“In the insurgency period, it was risky to be a CC member. They had to play with death,” said Suk Bahadur Roka Magar, a Dahal-led Maoist leader who was also a former People´s Liberation Army division commander. He argued that the jumbo committee was the result of a mixture of sycophancy and threats to form more factions and sub-factions. Yet another reason was that CC members do not have to be elected. Leaders nominated as CC members neither take pride in their posts nor do they feel the gravitas thereof. “The main reason is that they were not elected but just pulled out of the pockets of their leaders,” said a Dahal-led Maoist leader.
“If the leaders had had to be elected, they would feel proud of their posts and also they would not stake claims to the posts so easily.” For the Dahal-led Maoists, a further reason used to be to ensure a plurality of leaders and cadres to render Baidya in a minority. In the language of the cream of Maoist cadres, they were chaite [or opportunistic] Maoists. The Baidya faction was finally forced into a minority in the origional party. But why did the Baidya-led Maoists form their jumbo CC?
The leaders of the Baidya Maoists argued that a jumbo CC was needed to implement the party´s current political line of people´s revolt on the foundations of people´s war. “A CC member will lead the class struggle in a district. We also calculated that some leaders will get injured, some will be jailed and some others would be in the military sector,” said a leader of the Baidya-led Maoists. Similarly, another reason both Maoist parties have been saddled with jumbo CCs is deviation from their ideals.
The Maoist leaders started to look upon party posts as capital. Interestingly, leaders at both Maoist general conventions who lobbied for slim CCs argued that they themselves should not be excluded from the committees. “Though they argued during the general conventions that the committees should be small in size, they all demanded that they themselves should nevertheless be included in those committee. So, how can there be small committees,” argued the Maoist leaders of both parties.
CPN-Maoist rules out talks with President
KATHMANDU: CPN-Maoist Vice-chairman CP Gajurel today said that his party would not hold talks with the President unless a concrete commitment comes from the concerned side to dissolve the Khil Raj Regmi-led election government formed on March 14. The CPN-Maoist and other fringe parties have been opposing the Regmi-led government. They have warned that they would not let the Constituent Assembly election take place unless the current government was replaced with a political party-led government.
Earlier the Mohan Baidhya-led CPN-Maoist had said that they would not hold any talks with the High-Level Political Committee but with the President only. The party has been calling for scrapping the 11-point political agreement reached between four major political forces – the Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) – and the 25-point decree issued by the President to remove the constitutional difficulties using Article 158 and the formation of an election government followed by a roundtable conference of all political parties represented in the dissolved Constituent Assembly.
Addressing a function here, Gajurel conceded that the government and the four major political forces had invited them for talks. He said that the 11-point political agreement had pushed the country towards dictatorship and created constitutional vacuum and further claimed that the election would not be held even in mid-November as claimed by the parties and the chairman of the election government.
“We will take part in the election provided that the present government is replaced with a party-led government and 11-point political understanding and 25-point constitutional arrangement are scrapped,” Gajurel said, adding that taking part in the present dispensation would be akin to supporting the move taken by former king Gyanendra in 2005. The CPN-Maoist leader also ruled out any possibility of reaching an understanding on the issues raised by his party and others in the near future.
He said that they would intensify the street protests to what he said end the “four-party syndicate” which he termed ‘unconstitutional’. Asked to comment on Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s China trip and planned one to India, Gajurel said that he lacked agenda at home to contest the election and added that he would return home with some agenda fed by the neighbouring countries.
Election in present situation not acceptable for party: Yadav
KATHMANDU: The CPN-Maoist led by Matrika Yadav has announced that it would boycott the upcoming election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) if it was held without any changes in the present situation. The party’s decision to that end was shared at press meet held in the capital Wednesday.
The party would not take part in the election until the November 14 agreement reached among the four political forces was scrapped‚party’s Bagmati Bureau secretary Sujan said. He said talks were underway with the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist for unification and that the party had held talks with CPN-Maoist Vice Chairman CP Gajurel on Tuesday to that end.