Bhattarai faction trade union leaders join CPN-Maoist
KATHMANDU, Dec 17: About 200 trade union leaders, including central leaders, close to UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday joined CPN-Maoist accusing the leaders of corruption and of betraying the workers by siding with the owners.
The move came just a week after violent clashes between two rival factions of the UCPN (Maoist) trade union close to party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and vice-chairman Bhattarai at Everest Hotel.
The split was led by Hom Subedi who also chairman of The Everest Hotel and Restaurant Union, accusing Shalik Ram Jamkattel, who leads Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal faction of intimidation and corruption.
"We fought for long time in the party against those trade union leaders who were working against the workers by joining hands with owners. They are corrupts. Finally, we are forced to move to the CPN-Maoist," said Subedi addressing his comrades at the formal program at Kopundol. Other leaders joining Subedi were Bikram Rai, Mani Ram Thapa, Rajan Bista and Chairman of Annapurna Hotel unit of the trade union Ram Sharan Dulal.
"Hom has been unable to leave Everest Hotel since Monday as Shalik Ram Jamkattel´s goons are posted outside his relatives and neighbors´ homes. Raju ji´s [Raju Baduwal, secretary of Everest Hotel], duty is at the airport, but he too has not been unable to go to work there. We had urged comrades to continue their fight by remaining in the party [UCPN (Maoist)], but they were forced to join CPN-Maoist for security reasons," said Mukti Dahal, chairman of Hotel Hayat, who is also in Bhattarai faction. CPN-Maoist aligned trade union leaders had helped them during their clash on Monday.
The latest flare up of violence between the two rival factions erupted after Shalik Ram Jamkattel´s faction leaders registered a new union of the Hotel Everest at the labor office at Teku early last week. Jamkattel´s faction did not have presence at the hotel and the documents submitted at the labor office by Jamkattel´s faction apparently had fake signatures of workers, management chief and company´s fake stamp.
Earlier in the year, Bhattarai faction trade union of the Hotel Rastarant Union leaders had boycotted the national convention. However, despite the UCPN (Maoist) decision not to hold the national convention, some leaders including Janardan Sharma went ahead with the meeting and elected Prakash Shrestha as its chief. Bhattarai faction´s Subedi had been demanding dissolution of Shrestha led committee since then, while Dahal faction had been asking them to join the committee and even left some seats vacants.
According to Dahal, more than 183 trade union leaders including central level have shifted to new Maoist. In the program, Maoist however, claimed that around 300 trade union leaders joined.
Addressing the program, CPN-Maoist Secretary Netara Bikram Chand termed leaders of UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and CPN-UML as group of the ´political stooges.´
"They just dance according to the indications of south [India]. What they play it is just a farce. They are political stooges," said Chand claiming they have no capacity to take their own decision.
He also claimed that former Prime Minister BP Koirala was the only prime minister who had tried to make Nepal a sovereign country. He accused Maoist Chairman and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and current Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai as the ´stooge´s of new stooges.´
"The prime minister is being used as a card by foreign masters. They looted our resources and made people slaves. It is better to live as an ordinary citizen than as prime minister and ministers. We hate being slaves," added Chand saying that his party has also claimed the leadership but not by accepting conditions.
Similarly, he also said that the political solution should be found by reviewing the 12-point deal and the comprehensive peace accord.