Proposal turned down outright
KATHMANDU, Aug 2: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s plan to give full shape to the party´s general convention organizing committee (GCOC) with a membership of 175 was foiled as his proposal naming 68 new members was fiercely criticized by party leaders at a meeting of the existing organizing committee on Wednesday.
Dahal floated his proposal on Wednesday as a meeting called last week had broken up following objections by the other leaders.
The party´s plenum last month had converted the 104-member central committee into the GCOC and entrusted the same committee with the responsibility of giving it full shape.
No sooner had Dahal floated the 68 new names at the meeting Wednesday than the leaders airing their views not only fiercely criticized him for proposing names in violation of the criteria set out by the plenum but also turned down his proposal outright.
Dahal found himself in trouble as even members such as Top Bahadur Rayamajhi from the taskforce formed to select the names stood against the proposal.
Dahal was suggested to propose the names after a meeting of office bearers held earlier in the morning failed to come up with a consensus list.
UCPN (Maoist) leaders including Dahal conceded that giving full shape to the committee has proved to be a hard nut to crack. "It has really turned out to be a tough task preparing a list of 68 new members through consensus. It was tough selecting the members when our party was united and it remains tough at present as well," GCOC member Prakash Pokharel quoted Dahal as saying at the meeting in a bid to pursuade others to understand his compulsions.
Rayamajhi, a trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai who is also minister for peace and reconstruction, said the chairman´s proposal was unacceptable to them. "We are totally in the dark about who discussed the matter and where. I also have my own proposal in this regard," GCOC member Krishna Bhujel quoted Rayamajhi, a member of the taskforce, as saying at the meeting. "Therefore, it is unacceptable for us."
The UCPN (Maoist) had formed the taskforce under the leadership of Post Bahadur Bogati with Barshaman Pun, Girirajmani Pokharel, Rayamajhi, Bishwabhakta Dulal, Janardan Sharma and Debendra Paudel as members. Bogati, Pun, Rayamajhi and Sharma are from the Dahal faction, Rayamajhi and Paudel are from the Bhattarai faction and Pokharel and Dulal from Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha´s faction.
The proposal was not only criticized by Dahal´s rival factions but also turned down by his own close confidantes such as Agni Sapkota, Haribol Gajurel and Hita Raj Pandey. "Earlier, the taskforce couldn´t funtion properly and now the chairman floated the same faulty list at this meeting; so it is not acceptable," GCOC member Dharma Chandra Lawoti quoted Sapkota as saying.
Leaders close to Shrestha, and Amik Sherchan and Swonam Saathi who run a parallel sub-faction within the party, also came down heavily on Chairman Dahal, allegedly for not accommodating members from their groups.
Those familiar with the new turn of events informed that the Bhattarai faction expressed serious reservations on learning that the chairman allocated only 20 percent of the 68 new members to them through they had demand a 40 percent share. Similarly, Dahal allocated around 10 percent to Shrestha´s group while the names recommended by Sherchan and Swonam Saathi were not included at all.
"In fact the list submitted to the chairman was prepared in a tacit understanding among leaders from all three factions but it was not accepted as some leaders of the smaller groups within the factions were not satisfied," GCOC member Ishwari Bhattarai, who is close to Swonam Saathi, told Republica.
Former deputy speaker Purna Kumari Subedi, Salikram Jamma Kattel, Surya Man Dong and Sushma Sharma Ghimire from the Dahal faction, Kalpana Dhamala and Devi Khadka from the Bhattarai faction and Sita Pokharel from the Shrestha group are among the proposed 68 new members.