MAOIST PLENUM Prachanda Slides

Despite hurling physical assaults against one another, UCPN-Maoist leaders temporarily buried their hatchets of political differences<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

July 29, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 06 No-. 04 July 27-2012 (Shrawan 12,2069)<br>

Until a year ago, UCPN-Maoist leader Prachanda was regarded as a strong political personality who was said to have the ability to guide the political course of the nation. However, his status has changed so much now. After the plenum of the party, Maoist supremo Prachanda is nowhere near what he was then. Even his personal privileges, including house and cars, have been stripped.

After the split of the UCPN-Maoist, it was Prachanda who was weakened so much that he is now in no position to say anything against prime minister Baburam Bhattarai. “ Demanding the resignation of prime minister is nonsense,” Prachanda said in a press conference. “ There is no question to replace prime minister Bhattarai at this moment.”

The sudden shift in the tone of Maoist leader Prachanda has a certain reason. In the three-day long party plenum, UCPN-Maoist leaders used hate and abusive words against one another. The second day meeting was so tense that police rescued their leaders when followers of UCPN-Maoist leader Prachanda and the prime minister threw stones in the crowd.

The acts of Prachanda’s followers strengthened the prime minister. At the end, aggressive Prachanda had to bow down before Bhattarai, accepting to form a probe commission for the misuse of party funds, return of current residence and end his luxurious lifestyle.

Although  Maoist leaders Prachanda and Baburam came out at a press conference shaking hands, hugging and sharing dais as if nothing unusual had taken place a day earlier, prime minister Baburam Bhattarai made a political gain out of the chaos.

Split just a month ago, UCPN-Maoist is, in real terms, under a process of the third split. Although senior leaders agreed on a compromise, inner party disputes have already intensified and nobody needs to be surprised in case of the party’s third split.

“UCPN-Maoist is now united and we have buried all the differences for the sake of the country and the people,” said prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is now in dominant position in the party against Prachanda. “We don’t have any groups now and we have only one line of thought.”

As Prachanda was badly humiliated in the plenum, as he was compelled to accept all the demands by the prime minister, now everyone is waiting to see another battle in the next convention unfolding. It will remain to be seen how the crack will further intensify or narrow in the UCPN-Maoist party. The recently concluded plenum has gone to strengthen the prime minister for sure. 

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