By Dr. S. Chandrasekharan
Finally, Mohan Baidya the senior most leader of the Maoist part UCPN (M) broke away from the part and announced the formation of a new party with the name Communist Party of Nepal- Maoists- (CPN-M).
This announcement came after a three-day conclave held by the Baidya faction. The objective of the party is said to be the “establishment of a people’s revolt” through revolt. Baidya would be the chairman of the new party with C.P. Gajurel as the Secretary. Ram Bahadur Thapa, former PLA chief and the Defence Minister in Dahal’s cabinet would be the General Secretary.
It is claimed by the new party that over 45 existing central committee members of UCPN-M have crossed over to the new party. The central committee of the new party has been given the responsibility to pick up the office bearers for the CC and the first General Convention will be held next February.
The new party claims that its main objective is to have a ‘people’s republic’ through a revolt.”
If one goes by the history of the communist parties in Nepal, the breakaway factions have not succeeded and have eventually returned to the mother party
The Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation had reported that in the people’s war started by the Maoists over 17,800 people have died. The people are in no mood to tolerate another ‘people’s war’ and I do not think that Baidya’s followers would also go back to the jungles to start a fresh war. There will be no support from the people and the security forces are now in a position to crush any revolt.
In the short term, Baidya’s faction will be of a nuisance value and whatever little chance the Maoists had in repeating the kind of victory they had in the last elections is gone. But in the long term, Prachanda is likely to succeed if he really goes for a democratic republic and not a people’s republic. Baidya has termed Dahal’s group as ‘neo revisionists’ but said that the door is open for unity if Dahal accedes to a ‘people’s republic’.
The fundamental difference between Dahal and Baidya’s faction started, not now but during the Chunwang meeting of 2005 prior to the November agreement with the mainstream political parties who were then agitating against the Panchayat government of the King.
At the time of Chunwang meeting, both Baidya and Gajurel were in custody in India for other crimes and were not present when the decision was taken to approach other political parties and India too.
Both Baidya and Gajurel are senior to Dahal in the sense they joined the Maoist party earlier. Baidya had to give up his leadership to Dahal when the party was too hasty to start a ‘people’s war when the conditions were not ripe.
What is to be noted is that the breakway faction’s main difference with Dahal’s group is not so much on ideology as on relationship with India. Dahal’s group during the Chunwang meeting and even later, wanted India to be considered as the ‘principal enemy’ and to move ahead with this central objective.
This was not acceptable particularly to Bhattarai who first wanted to consolidate the gains made in the people’s war before going for complete restructuring of the society or in taking a confrontational posture towards India.
Dahal was flirting with both sides and it looked for a while that he was deliberately exacerbating the internal differences to get the maximum mileage in the peace process! Finally he had to take sides and he seems to have taken the right decision.