THE MAOIST PLENUM Battle OfTheTop Guns 

As his two deputies, Mohan Baidy’Kiran’ and Baburam Bhattarai ‘Laldhoj’, dare to challenge him in  the much-publicised central extended plenum of the former armed rebels in Gorkha later this month to take control of the party, chairman Pushpa Ka

Nov. 21, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. 04 No.-11, Nov 19 2010 (Mangsir 03, 2067)

The Chunwang meeting (five years ago) anticipated an imminent impending political storm. It did indeed come. But we have not fully overcome it. Since it has not gone away yet, our future course has not become clear.

True to Maoist chairman Prachanda’s remarks in his report to be presented at the party’s extended plenum next week, the Nepali politics is also shrouded in uncertainty.

There has been neither a consensus nor a clear polarization of the parties.

This has been attributed mainly to the three-faction struggle in the Maoist party.

Prachanda and the two vice chairmen, Mohan Baidya and Baburam Bhattarai head the warring factions.

Their make-believe unity is now in danger. The three are clearly heading into three different directions. They may not even be prepared to see each other’s face.

In separate reports to be presented at the plenum, the three have come down heavily on each other, while defending their own lines.

The differences have run so deep that they have even made up mind to part the ways, if need be.

Prachanda admits it, “there is ample room for question on party’s unity. Though differences were there even during the people’s war when the party was small, but they have reached to the brink, so has the enemy’s games (to split us).”

His rivals agree. But they see Prachanda as the problem and the correction of Prachanda himself as a remedy.

A pro-Baidya politburo member, Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma says,” the ideological, economic and organizational distortions in the leadership led to the party’s current mess. If he (Prachanda) did correct, everything will fall in line.”

Biswokarma’s mentor, Baidya, advocates people’s revolt based on people’s war to establish a people’s federal republic. He wants the revolt to come either through a civil war or a national war.

Bhattarai disagrees. He stresses on the making of a maximum progressive constitution through the peaceful and constitutional means for social and economic transformation of the country.

The Maoist document adopted two years ago at the Kharipati meet is closer to Baidya who wants its immediate implementation in contrast to Bhattarai who wants it changed in favour of peace and constitution.

Prachanda has attempted to stand in the middle. So, he has been accused of being a centrist with no clear stand at all.  He is also charged with opportunism and double standard.

Prachanda admits such impression about him. He defends himself, but he is not sure of how to go about after the 12 point accord.

“It was inevitable for us to come to the present stage after the 12-point accord. As mentioned in our Chunwang document, whether we will pass the fire test and complete the revolution or burn our fingers is yet to be decided. The test is still on.”

Baidya not only sees the current peace process as wrong but faults the entire peace accord and the agreement to end the people’s war and the army integration.

He writes, “The peace accord abandons the sovereign rule of the use of force in a revolution, hence the peaceful transition is right wing revisionist in its nature.”

He questions the wisdom of agreeing to dismantle the YCL, return the seized properties and form government on majority basis after the CA elections.

Prachanda disagrees, “to come to this point through peace process is correct. We have fought hard to save the people’s army from being dissolved and formed an interim parliament at the centre. But there had been some weaknesses in not being able to give continuity to the local government in some form”

Although seemingly closer to Bhattarai on thought and action, Prachanda, critics say, is trying to seem closer to Baidya.

Prachanda is closer to Baidya on alliance with the monarchists and declaring India the number one enemy, but he does not want any compromise on Chunwang decision.

So, Prachanda has not mentioned the Khariparti decision on people’s revolt while Baidya is silent on constitution and parliament.

If non-Maoist parties accuse Prachanda of not keeping his words and of a double standard on words and deeds, his critics – Baidya and Bhattarai -- within the party echo. Prachanda dubs them extremists.

Coming down to personal attack, Baidya even writes, “Prachanda has resorted to false propaganda”.

He accused Prachanda of spreading lies and listed them thus: the so-called new ideological equation in the central committee; about being encircled by the enemies from within the party; about promoting factionalism in the name of defending headquarters from the so-called extremist left and right alliance.

Baidya goes on, “corruption, smuggling, illegal trade and corruption have mushroomed under the protection of the leadership. Even own comrades have been physically attacked.”

Bhattarai has also come down heavily on Prachanda and referred to “corruption and MP’s buying to form the government”.

He said, “The party has turned in an outfit dependent on parasites which are cut off from the party. This must end and the party’s financial transaction must be transparent.”

“Millions was spent on buying the MPs but the whole-timers of the party are starving.

Bhattarai went on: “the aimless 6-day general strike and its withdrawal, the repeated defeat of the top leadership in the PM’s elections, closeness with the defeated feudal and monarchist elements, emphasis on other parties’ leadership instead of an alternative leadership from within the party have sent negative wrong messages across the party, the revolution and the people.”

Prachanda angrily feels that he has been blocked from following new ways either from Bhattarai group of the Baidya group.

He boasts of taking many risks for the party, including the meeting with the monarchists.

It is amidst such deep differences and rivalry that the Maoist central plenum is meeting in Gorkha.

Clearly, it will be venue for a showdown and muscle-flexing that could even lead to a vertical split.

Bhattarai and Baidya camps believe that Prachanda is not confident of facing the 6000 delegates at the plenum.

They suspect that the chairman does not even to want to see it taking place.

They allege that Prachanda has even threatened to take actions against them.

But pro-Bhattarai leader Devendra Poudel warns, that will not work. “We will not bow down”.

According to him the Prachanda camp is giving the impression that there is no broader worker support behind the other two, especially Bhattarai.

The fact is: all the three leaders are working hard to get the cadres on their side in the conclave.

Prachanda who has a clear majority in the valley and the combatants claims he has majority all over the country.

Bhattarai and Baidya say, there is a three-faction race in all fronts.

Prachanda however is said to have a decisive edge among the all-important combatants.

According to a pro-Bhattarai central member, Prachanda has taken the anti-Bhattarai tirade to the grassroots level. Prachanda backers make the same allegation against Bhattarai.

The three factions who have sent politburo members to the grass root level to lobby in own support have chalked out separate plans at the central level also.

Prachanda wants to defer the plenum for as longer time as possible and buy time to create a positive atmosphere for his camp.

“He wants to reach to the power by hook or by crook, be it licking the foot of the enemy India also” said a Bhattarai supporter.

“He wants to use the state power to keep the large section of the party on his side in the event of the split of the party, so as to ensure a safe future.”

If he failed to bring the external atmosphere on his side and also to defer the extended plenum he will try to present only one report at the plenum, denying the two others the opportunity, according to the critics.

Said pro-Prachanda politburo member, Haribol Gajurel lends credence to it somewhat, “it is in accordance with the communist party’s code of conduct and the earlier agreement that there will be only one report – that of  the chairman. Others can register their note of differences, if any.

But pro-Baidya Bisowkarma disagrees: all the three reports will go to the plenum for debate and discussion.

Bhattarai too is hell bent on taking the present line of peace process forward because he says, this was his line.

He is readying to take the cudgel separately if the others in the party did not follow him.

The battle lines have been drawn. A bitter war within the former warriors’ party is increasingly looking imminent.
 your text here. Bhattarai disagrees. He stresses on the making of a maximum progressive constitution through the peaceful and constitutional means for social and economic transformation of the country.

The Maoist document adopted two years ago at the Kharipati meet is closer to Baidya who wants its immediate implementation in contrast to Bhattarai who wants it changed in favour of peace and constitution.

Prachanda has attempted to stand in the middle. So, he has been accused of being a centrist with no clear stand at all.  He is also charged with opportunism and double standard.

Prachanda admits such impression about him. He defends himself, but he is not sure of how to go about after the 12 point accord.

“It was inevitable for us to come to the present stage after the 12-point accord. As mentioned in our Chunwang document, whether we will pass the fire test and complete the revolution or burn our fingers is yet to be decided. The test is still on.”

Baidya not only sees the current peace process as wrong but faults the entire peace accord and the agreement to end the people’s war and the army integration.

He writes, “The peace accord abandons the sovereign rule of the use of force in a revolution, hence the peaceful transition is right wing revisionist in its nature.”

He questions the wisdom of agreeing to dismantle the YCL, return the seized properties and form government on majority basis after the CA elections.

Prachanda disagrees, “to come to this point through peace process is correct. We have fought hard to save the people’s army from being dissolved and formed an interim parliament at the centre. But there had been some weaknesses in not being able to give continuity to the local government in some form”

Although seemingly closer to Bhattarai on thought and action, Prachanda, critics say, is trying to seem closer to Baidya.

Prachanda is closer to Baidya on alliance with the monarchists and declaring India the number one enemy, but he does not want any compromise on Chunwang decision.

So, Prachanda has not mentioned the Khariparti decision on people’s revolt while Baidya is silent on constitution and parliament.

If non-Maoist parties accuse Prachanda of not keeping his words and of a double standard on words and deeds, his critics – Baidya and Bhattarai -- within the party echo. Prachanda dubs them extremists.

Coming down to personal attack, Baidya even writes, “Prachanda has resorted to false propaganda”.

He accused Prachanda of spreading lies and listed them thus: the so-called new ideological equation in the central committee; about being encircled by the enemies from within the party; about promoting factionalism in the name of defending headquarters from the so-called extremist left and right alliance.

Baidya goes on, “corruption, smuggling, illegal trade and corruption have mushroomed under the protection of the leadership. Even own comrades have been physically attacked.”

Bhattarai has also come down heavily on Prachanda and referred to “corruption and MP’s buying to form the government”.

He said, “The party has turned in an outfit dependent on parasites which are cut off from the party. This must end and the party’s financial transaction must be transparent.”

“Millions was spent on buying the MPs but the whole-timers of the party are starving.

Bhattarai went on: “the aimless 6-day general strike and its withdrawal, the repeated defeat of the top leadership in the PM’s elections, closeness with the defeated feudal and monarchist elements, emphasis on other parties’ leadership instead of an alternative leadership from within the party have sent negative wrong messages across the party, the revolution and the people.”

Prachanda angrily feels that he has been blocked from following new ways either from Bhattarai group of the Baidya group.

He boasts of taking many risks for the party, including the meeting with the monarchists.

It is amidst such deep differences and rivalry that the Maoist central plenum is meeting in Gorkha.

Clearly, it will be venue for a showdown and muscle-flexing that could even lead to a vertical split.

Bhattarai and Baidya camps believe that Prachanda is not confident of facing the 6000 delegates at the plenum.

They suspect that the chairman does not even to want to see it taking place.

They allege that Prachanda has even threatened to take actions against them.

But pro-Bhattarai leader Devendra Poudel warns, that will not work. “We will not bow down”.

According to him the Prachanda camp is giving the impression that there is no broader worker support behind the other two, especially Bhattarai.

The fact is: all the three leaders are working hard to get the cadres on their side in the conclave.

Prachanda who has a clear majority in the valley and the combatants claims he has majority all over the country.

Bhattarai and Baidya say, there is a three-faction race in all fronts.

Prachanda however is said to have a decisive edge among the all-important combatants.

According to a pro-Bhattarai central member, Prachanda has taken the anti-Bhattarai tirade to the grassroots level. Prachanda backers make the same allegation against Bhattarai.

The three factions who have sent politburo members to the grass root level to lobby in own support have chalked out separate plans at the central level also.

Prachanda wants to defer the plenum for as longer time as possible and buy time to create a positive atmosphere for his camp.

“He wants to reach to the power by hook or by crook, be it licking the foot of the enemy India also” said a Bhattarai supporter.

“He wants to use the state power to keep the large section of the party on his side in the event of the split of the party, so as to ensure a safe future.”

If he failed to bring the external atmosphere on his side and also to defer the extended plenum he will try to present only one report at the plenum, denying the two others the opportunity, according to the critics.

Said pro-Prachanda politburo member, Haribol Gajurel lends credence to it somewhat, “it is in accordance with the communist party’s code of conduct and the earlier agreement that there will be only one report – that of  the chairman. Others can register their note of differences, if any.

But pro-Baidya Bisowkarma disagrees: all the three reports will go to the plenum for debate and discussion.

Bhattarai too is hell bent on taking the present line of peace process forward because he says, this was his line.

He is readying to take the cudgel separately if the others in the party did not follow him.

The battle lines have been drawn. A bitter war within the former warriors’ party is increasingly looking imminent.
 your text here.

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