Former PLA members object to new leadership HETAUDA, Feb 9: Giving continuity to Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s leadership, the ongoing seventh general convention of ruling the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has concluded on Friday.
The convention also announced 98 members of the 151-member central committee. While Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha have retained their positions as vice-chairmen, Post Bahadur Bogati who was the party secretary has been elected general secretary.
While Dahal, Bhattarai and Shrestha head separate factions Bogati is close to Dahal.
The convention also decided to nominate the remaining 53 members of the central committee, including secretaries, later. The central committee could not take a full shape due to differing views of the leaders.
Sources said Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Barshaman Pun, Giriraj Mani Pokharel and Top Bahadur Rayamajhi are interested in the post of secretary. Mahara and Pun are from the Dahal faction, Rayamajhi from the Bhattarai faction and Pokharel from the Shrestha faction.
“The central committee will get a full shape after its meeting,” said Dahal addressing the closing session of the general convention. He said the new political line of the party would give fresh momentum to the Nepali communist movement.
“We succeeded in abolishing monarchy through the people´s war. Now we will build a new Nepal by adopting open politics,” said Dahal. He also claimed that the opposition parties would agree to their proposal to form a new government under the sitting chief justice to hold elections.
The convention organizing committee stuck to its earlier proposal on the size of CC despite a demand by convention representatives to limit the size to below hundred.
Dahal´s rise to power
Dahal has remained the party chief for 25 years now. Dahal came into power after Mohan Baidhya made way for him after quitting as chief of then CPN(Mashal) in 1987. Dahal has been reelected as the party chairman and the party now has endorsed his proposal to enter parliamentary politics.
Sherchan to head disciplinary commission
The party has also named Amik Sherchan as head of its disciplinary commission. Hitaraj Pandey, Ram Kumar Yadav, Kalpana Dhamala, Dharmaraj BK and Tej Prasad Kandel are members of the commission. Similarly, Dor Prasad Upadhyaya has been appointed chief of the audit commission and Ramananda Mahato and Tek Nath Acharya as its members.
Almost all representatives had left the convention venue when the new leadership was being announced. The representatives hurried to catch the bus to head home. Former PLA division commanders Kali Bahadur Kham, Tej Bahadur Oli and Dhan Bahadur Maski Magar have been reelected as CC members. All of them have been accused of corruption, while Kham has also been accused of involvement in Ram Hari Shrestha´s murder.
Former PLA members object to new leadership
The general convention has not dealt with the party´s ideological and organizational divide. The general convention has decided to hand over reports submitted by the commission led by Bogati and Sherchan formed to investigate into corruption to CC.
The Bhrikuti Mandap plenum had formed the commission after party cadres demanded investigation into financial irregularities in the party and PLA cantonments.
The report submitted by the commission had given clean chit to those accused of corruption. The general convention representatives had shouted slogans when it was announced that the reports would be handed over to the central committee.
Sherchan had claimed that they did not get proof of Chairman Dahal´s ownership of Mukti Tower and the Lazimpat residence.
Former PLA mostly from the third division cantonment also protested against the announcement of new CC saying most of the members are corrupt and they do not deserve the CC position.
They also said that they were not given any chance to register their complaint against such CC member. According to them, the top leaders endorsed the names forcefully.
“They did not give us a chance voice our disagreement. The party has rewarded the corrupt,” said Suryakala Timilsina, who was company vice commander of the third PLA division.
Cultural groups of the party have also objected to the new leadership elected through the general convention.
“The general convention has done injustice,” said Bhim Kumakhi, chief of Samana Pariwar.
Addressing the hall, Dahal informed that the party will hold a plenum to take a decision on the BIPPA issue.