JHAPA, April 28: The United National People´s Movement Committee (UNPM), formed by the Mohan Baidya faction of the UCPN(Maoist) to struggle against the establishment faction, organized a mass gathering Saturday to press for ethnicity-based federal provinces under the new state restructuring.
The mass gathering organized in Damak, with participants brought in from various districts including Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Ilam, has vowed to fight for ethnicity-based federal provinces, concluding that conspiracies were afoot from various quarters to weaken the demand for a federal structure based on ethnic identity.
Maoist leaders present at the function have announced the launch of a ´new revolution´, strongly criticizing the leaders of the party´s establishment faction. The function was attended by the leaders of parties who defected from the Maoists in the past.
Addressing the function, Baidya faction leaders said that the 10-federal provinces model proposed by the Maoist establishment faction was not be acceptable to them. They argued that the proposal, which was brought in without consulting them, fails to ensure ethnic identity.
“It was a personal proposal of Prachanda [Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal],” said C P Gajurel, who is the UNPM coordinator. “It is not acceptable to us. The official stance of the party is for 14 federal provinces as proposed by the State Restructuring Commission.”
Gajurel alleged that Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai had weakened the demand for ethnicity-based federal provinces, kneeling down to imperialist forces. “Prachanda and Baburam are bent on weakening the demand of the ethnic groups by creating disputes over federalism,” he said. “This alliance was deemed necessary to fight that conspiracy. It appears we should now spearhead a movement through this committee.”
Gajurel alleged that the party had betrayed the people hugely by relinquishing its long-held bottom line of ethnicity-based federal provinces.
Also speaking on the occasion, CPN (Maoist) Chairman Matrika Yadav alleged that Maoist Chairman Dahal had reneged by relinquishing the demand for ethnicity-based federal provinces and merging the People´s Liberation Army with the Nepal Army. “Prachanda, who would argue that ethnic liberation was not possible without ethnicity-based provinces, has betrayed the people,” he said.
Yadav said that a new government was a must for promulgating a new constitution.
Addressing the function, Mani Thapa of the Revolutionary Communist Party said federalism would be meaningless if it failed to ensure ethnicity-based federal provinces. Kumar Lingden of Federal Limbuwan State Council warned that they would tear up the new constitution if it failed to ensure a Limbuwan province.