KATHMANDU, Jan 1: Even after several deadline extensions, members of the two probe commissions constituted by the ruling UCPN(Maoist) to investigate the sources of property amassed by party leaders and commanders of the then People´s Liberation Army (PLA) have no clue when they will come up with their final reports.
Amid widespread criticism over the lavish lifestyle of some of the party´s leaders, that according to close aides was distinctly at odds their know sources of income, the ruling party had formed two separate commissions during its seventh plenum held last July at Bhrikuti Mandap. Both commissions were asked to submit their reports within a month.
The first commission led by party Secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati, who is said to be close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, was assigned to look into the huge financial irregularities that allegedly took place at the seven PLA cantonments that housed almost 20,000 PLA combatants for almost four years. Lokendra Bista Magar and Nabaraj Subedi are the other two members of the commission.
Similarly, the same plenum had formed another three-member commission led by Amik Sherchan, another close aide to Chairman Dahal, and it was asked to investigate the sources of the huge properties owned by party leaders. Hita Raj Pande and Dor Prasad Upadhyay are its other members.
However, even after five months since their formation, the two commissions appear nowhere near submitting their final reports. Instead, according to party insiders, deepening factional differences and mistrust between the Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai camps have made both the commissions almost defunct.
When Republica inquired with Hita Raj Pande about the current status of the commission, he had a blunt one-liner response. "I don´t know. Ask comrade Diwakar [Post Bahadur Bogati] who is coordinator of the commission," he said. A source on the commission said that all that the Bogati-led commission did was question some former PLA deputy-commanders.
However, Nabaraj Subedi, a member of the commission led by Sherchan and an aide to Prime Minister Bhattarai, said the commission has made notable progress, a repeated claim that even many who are close to Sherchan disown. "We are currently writing the report and making all-out effort to submit the report with weeks," said Subedi.
According to a source, the commission had received a barrage of complaints against Chairman Dahal and other senior leaders of the party for their “poor handling” of party funds. Earlier, commission chief Sherchan had informed that a total of 65 complaints had been filed at the commission against various leaders.
After the formation of the two commissions, six of the seven former PLA division commanders had resigned en masse from their party posts, alleging that Chairman Dahal was hatching a conspiracy to make a few division commanders scapegoats for huge financial irregularities perpetrated by PLA commanders close to him.
The ex-commanders also had demanded a thorough investigation against the former PLA supreme commander and other top level commanders, over embezzlements running into billions of rupees.
According to the former PLA commanders, they were once questioned as part of the investigations but never questioned again after the dissolution of the PLA.
Earlier, the commission members had said that they would keep the names of petitioners and the accused secret. The main report of the investigations will be submitted to the party and only a summary is to be made public.