The internal dispute of UCPN (Maoist) is over, at least for the time being, but the new alliance of the leaders against the ‘monopoly’ of chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as the ‘headquarters’, could not address the essence of the dispute.
“GP Koirala had told me that leaders of your own party will physically finish you. If they could not do it, they will push you to a miserable situation. I recall this time to time and think that GP Koirala said this with his deep insight.”
Chairman Dahal said this at a function organised in the capital on July 23. It seemed as if he was actually compelled to break into tears after he was entrapped within the party by the new alliance that forced him to agree on power sharing in the party. The alliance of vice chairman trio Babu Ram Bhattarai, Mohan Baidya and Narayan Kaji Shrestha and general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa posed a threat to the power of the headquarters for the first time in the 22 years history of the Maoist party.
The dispute in the UCPN (Maoist) that used to be concentrated on the strategic and ideological debate stretched to power sharing and personal ego this time. The Baidya-Bhattarai-Shreshta-Thapa alliance that was formed after one month exercise put chairman Dahal in a minority and compelled him to agree on division of work. This is probably the first time since the party’s inception that the top leadership looked so toothless.
Dahal was compelled to agree on the division of work and powers after the meeting of Siddhartha Cottage at Dhobighat and gatherings of Bhattarai-Baidya-Shrestha residences exerted undue pressure on him. But, there still remains a question - Can the essence of dispute be over because of a mere technical division of the work and power sharing?
The answer is very clear as the existing ideological disputes were not the agenda within the Maoist party in recent days. The incomplete settlement of the dispute is sure to widen the rift between the leaders in long run though the debate seems to have been settled for the time being.
It is unfortunate that Baidya and Bhattarai have strong disagreements over the ideological and strategic line to be adopted by the party including the party’s official stance on India. Baidya wants to prolong the existing government which was formed against the wish of India whereas Bhattarai wants the government be toppled now and new government be formed under his leadership. The clear difference on strategic line is the proof of the artificial alliance that will not last long.
Vice chairman Shrestha, whom Dahal installed as vice chairman after Kharipati meeting with a fear of being left in minority, has apparently switched side after Dahal was reluctant to make him home minister. Similarly, Dahal’s apathy to implement his promise to make Baburam Bhattarai Prime Minister brought the latter closer to the Baidya camp. On the other hand, ‘betrayal’ by Dahal to the line of ‘people’s revolt’ championed by Baidya brought him closer to Bhattarai. This alliance is only meant to challenge the monopoly of Dahal rather than to resolve intra-party dispute.
Bhattarai will be one to gain from the recent ‘resolution’ of the intra-party dispute as he has shrewdly saved his position through what he calls “need-based switchover of camps” and the party has named his as the prime ministerial candidate for future ‘consensus government’. However, the temporary win of the interests will lead the party towards greater suffering. nepalnews.com