Senior leader of UCPN (Maoist) Baburam Bhattarai has, for the first time in the party´s history, formally demanded the post of party chief for himself, at the party central committee meeting on Sunday.
Bhattarai remained second-in-command in the party for many years, and quit the post of vice-chair two years ago demanding that a system of leadership handover be established. Since then, Bhattarai has been refusing to take up the same party post again reports My Republica.
Though Bhattarai has in the past implied his desire to lead the party, this is the first time he has made a formal announcement at a meeting of the party´s all-powerful central committee.
He has, however, raised the issue of leadership handover over the last couple of years as UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been leading the party for nearly 25 years.
“I want to be tested,” Bhattarai told the central committee today, adding that what Chairman Dahal said was correct. During the previous meeting, Dahal had said Bhattarai had told him he was interested to take the lead after three decades of Dahal’s reign.
Bhattarai has given three reasons for that — firstly to begin discussions and practice of handing over leadership to the newer generation; secondly to prove that both Bhattarai and Dahal were one on all the issues; and lastly, to show that UCPN-M was the centre of all communist movements.
The party’s Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha opined that discussion on handing over the leadership should not have opened because that could overshadow the main agenda of the special convention of the party. He, however, said he had no objection to Bhattarai taking the leadership of the party media reports.
Meanwhile, claiming that the Maoist movement was on the verge of dissolution, standing committee member Janardan Sharma today registered a proposal demanding that the party should hold a broader ideological conference to dwell on the party’s line and strategy within two to three months. He said the party should find reasons for all the evils that brought the party to this pathetic state.