KATHMANDU, MAR 25 – The rival factions within the UCPN (Maoist) led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya have reached an informal understanding to move ahead adopting a “one party two tactics” policy till May 27, the extended deadline of the Constituent Assembly.
While leaders said they adopted such policy to keep the party united, some influential leaders from the Baidya camp have opposed the idea, arguing that they should form a separate party. Speaking to journalists a few days ago, Dahal had said that the party would neither split formally nor remain united.
Leaders from the hard-line camp–Ram Bahadur Thapa, CP Gajurel, Netra Bikram Chand and Hitman Shakya–are in favour of splitting the party before May 27. But Baidya and Standing Committee member Dev Gurung are against a formal split until May 27.
With such an understanding, the rival factions will function in a parallel way with their own political line. “The party will function in a parallel way till May 27 with separate policies and programmes,” said Haribol Gajurel, a Dahal confidante.
The establishment faction headed by Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will engage on the ongoing peace and constitution-writing process, while the hardliners will make preparations for a possible revolt.
The two factions also agreed not to criticise each other publicly. The Baidya faction has also softened its stance on the issue of PM’s resignation.
The hardliners had earlier decided to launch street protests to topple the government but later changed their stance, stating that their priority was promulgating a pro-people constitution than unseating the government. The Dahal faction has called the party’s Central Committee meeting on Monday, while the hardliners have announced to boycott the “meaningless” meeting.
The rival factions have also agreed to make the CC meeting informal to maintain the party unity. The Dahal-Bhattarai camp is preparing to unveil different programmes to support the ongoing peace and constitution-writing process. Two weeks ago, the hard-line camp held a separate CC meet and unveiled protest programmes.
“When we proposed this policy inside the party a few months ago, Dahal and Bhattarai were reluctant to accept it. Now they have agreed to adopt this policy,” said a hardliner and CC member Bharat Bam.