Ending days of speculation and efforts at reconciliation, Nepal’s Maoist party split on Monday with the new faction deciding to pursue “peoples’ revolution” as its goal.
The breakaway faction of the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has been named Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and will be headed by Mohan Baidya, former vice-chairman of the party.
Another senior leader Ram Bahadur Thapa has been named general secretary of the new party. Discussions were underway till late evening to decide on the other office bearers.
Maoists were the largest party in the dissolved Constituent Assembly and are heading the present ruling coalition comprising UCPN (M) and Madhesi parties from the Terai region.
Baidya and his faction are a minority in the party and were not part of the government. The split is unlikely to impact the government.
Following dissolution of the CA last month, President Ram Baran Yadav termed the government ‘caretaker’ till consensus on a national unity government is formed or the next elections held.
The decision to split was endorsed by the national conclave of the dissident faction after three days of deliberations and efforts by the establishment faction to prevent a divide.
Baidya has been at loggerheads with UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai for digressing from the party’s line of revolution to concentrate on peace and constitution.
Though Dahal had sent a seven-point proposal agreeing to review past decisions, correct his mistakes and even discuss possibility of his stepping down for party’s unity. Baidya had rejected it.
The breakaway group is unhappy with Dahal’s decision to hand over of arms belonging to Maoist combatants and their integration into the Nepal Army. Baidya’s group is also angry at Dahal and Bhattarai for their growing closeness to India though the party had agreed to regard it as the prime enemy.