Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Nepal: Most leaders support Bhattarai’s view

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 17, 2010


REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, June 18: Most of the Maoist leaders at the party´s politburo meeting on Friday spoke in favor of a Maoist-led national consensus government while at the same time keeping open the option of another leader of the party becoming prime minister.

They were making comments on the party´s next strategic move proposed by party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at the meeting.

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“The party should not stay in opposition, but lead the government by keeping the option of leadership open,” a politburo member quoted standing committee member Barshaman Pun as saying. He stressed the need for a consensus government to take the peace process to logical end and draft a new constitution.

In his political proposal presented Tuesday, Dahal stated that the chances of the Maoist party leading the government are getting slimmer by the day and the party should rather stay in opposition, adopt the policy of non-cooperation with the government and set out plans for street protests.

Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the party´s hard-line faction, put forward somewhat similar views and even proposed that the party begin preparations for a revolt.

But another vice-chairman, Dr Baburam Bhattarai, has pushed for a national consensus government by making another party leader other than Chairman Dahal the prime minister if other parties so wish.

Maoist leaders Pun, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, and Giriraj Mani Pokharel clearly put forward their views supporting Dr Baburam Bhattarai, while Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Dev Gurung spoke in favor of Dahal and Bhattarai.

Netra Bikram Chand, who is regarded as close to Baidya, criticized the chairman´s proposal as “vague and ambiguous” and pointed out the need for a definite plan for the party to move ahead.

“Without any definite plan of action, the party will head nowhere” a politburo member quoted Chand as saying. Another leader Dinanath Sharma, who is close to Bhattarai, will speak during Friday´s meeting.

Bhattarai faction for general convention

According to sources, Bhattarai is in favor of calling a general convention as soon as possible to settle the issue of party´s general line and ideological dilemma.

Speaking at the politburo on Wednesday, Bhattarai demanded that the party should go for general convention, which has been slated for February next year, and settle the issues as soon as possible.

“The issue of the day is not who becomes prime minister, but deciding the correct party line and thinking,” a politburo member close to Bhattarai quoted him as saying.

According to him, Bhattarai is not in favor of leading the consensus government if that causes harm to party organization. But Bhattarai is seen as the preferred prime ministerial candidate and an option to Dahal for the position.

“The party should be ready to bring forward another vice-chairman, Narayankaji Shrestha or General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa if doing so leads to national consensus,” the leader quoted Bhattarai as saying. The leader also stated that Bhattarai is against the party leading a majority government.

“The mathematical game of a majority government would complexify the peace process. So the party should rather lead a national consensus government,” the party leader quoted Bhattarai as saying.

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