The political transition is taking a long time to complete. There is no sign yet of when it will end. Instead, it is becoming more critical. And increasingly dangerous as well. Amidst such a scary political environment the country’s largest party is holding a crucial plenum. It is taking place at a time when the top three leaders are looking at three different directions. Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and vice chairmen, Mohan Baidya and Baburam Bhattarai, are hell bent on taking control of the party – and lead it in the direction they believe is the right one.The battle within is even threatening to tear apart the former rebel outfit. If that happened it will have a deep impact on the course of the Nepali politics in the days to come. The peace process, the constituion-making and the institutionalisation of the republic and, above all, the external interest and concern are sure to feel the heat. As all eyes are on the battle royale in the Maoist leadership we have decided to take a look, in the cover story this time, at how serious is the matter.