Baidya party seeks slice of political pie

KATHMANDU, JAN 17 - The CPN-Maoist has demanded a share in politics from the mainstream parties, warning of a new armed conflict if a new deal is not struck early.

The breakaway Maoist party's position comes after its recently concluded general convention, which lasted for seven days and adopted the line of "people's revolt based on the foundations of the people's war". Insiders said the convention mandated that the party return to an armed struggle to ensure a "pro-people constitution" and meet the goals of the "new people's revolution".

In a press conference organised in the Capital on Wednesday to explain the conclusions of its seventh general convention, CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya said the party had concluded that there is no possibility of promulgating a new constitution through the Constituent Assembly. An agreement similar to the 12-point deal signed between the then Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists in 2005 or a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the Girija Prasad Koirala-led government and the CPN (Maoist) in 2006 can ensure a new constitution, said Baidya.

“We are closely observing if ongoing problems will be resolved. If the people's rights cannot be ensured by a new constitution, another armed struggle is indispensable,” said the hardline leader. Baidya said that the development of events would decide the date and timing of the new struggle.

Baidya also heavily criticised top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist), claiming they had lost the revolutionary spirit and had surrendered to "foreign masters". He accused Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of becoming a 'puppet' to India and signing agreements that are against the country's national interests, including the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).  

The leader of the breakaway Maoist party further claimed that the mother party had given up its stance on identity-based federalism and had "topped the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML in surrendering before foreign forces". He asserted that only the CPN-Maoist now represents revolutionary forces and registered the party's official claim for leadership of the national government.

While Baidya said that his party's position is similar to that of the NC and the UML in seeking the resignation of PM Bhattarai, he clarified that they would not work with the opposition as they differs on leadership of the next government and the process to address the stalemate regarding statute-making. The party instead decided to make an alliance with patriotic and revolutionary forces to garner support for leadership of the government. Baidya said that the party would join the government, depending on the agenda to address a pro-people constitution and "the day-to-day issues of the people."

The CPN-Maoist also asked the government to withdraw conflict-era cases pending at the courts and ensure the release of Nepal Army Col Kumar Lama arrested in the UK. The party claimed that Lama should be punished in accordance with Nepali laws and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) should be formed to deal with conflict-era cases.

In an hour-long press briefing, CPN-Maoist leaders criticised the arrest of five district level Maoist cadres for the murder of Dailekh-based journalist Dekendra Thapa in 2004. The party said the arrest is an "announcement of the violation of the peace process and the CPA" and demanded that the government ensure that conflict-era cases are not revived.

Baidya said that "none of the NC, the UML or the Rastriya Prajatantra Party” would be spared if such cases are revived and not dealt through the TRC. He warned that individually dealing with such cases would push the country further towards a conflict.


Posted on: 2013-01-17 03:00