Nepal: New Maoist party discussing options in struggle for power
Baidya party threatens to take up arms for power
KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, The Kathmandu Post
KATHMANDU, SEP 05 – CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya on Wednesday threatened to take up weapons to come into power if his party fails to achieve its goals through peaceful means. The party has a standing policy of capturing state power through a people’s revolt.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Buddhanagar, Baidya said there are many examples of armed struggles that were launched to gain power. The press meet was organised to unveil decisions taken by the week-long second Central Committee (CC) meeting of the party.
“Our first priority is to resolve problems facing the country, and if necessary, we will take up arms,” Baidya said. He, however, did not say when the party plans to take such a move. According to one leader, the CC meet has already decided to make military and organisational preparations for a possible armed revolt. The leader added that the plans were being kept confidential.
The CC meeting also demanded a roundtable conference of all political parties and forces to end the current deadlock. Leaders said the three major parties are “spreading confusion” among the people.
The party said fresh elections or revival of the Constituent Assembly (CA) could be alternatives to end the deadlock if all the issues of the new constitution are resolved. “However, under the present circumstances, neither fresh elections nor CA revival can provide an outlet,” said Baidya. The CC meeting also endorsed a 70-point memorandum, which will be handed over to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai within a week. The 70-point charter of demands is similar to the 40-point memo submitted by the former CPN (Maoist) in 1996 to then PM Sher Bahadur Deuba. Immediately after submitting the memorandum, the party had launched an armed insurgency, calling it a “people’s war.”
Over two dozen demands in the memorandum are directly related to India. Baidya said the struggle against India is necessary as the southern neighbour is “constantly interfering in Nepal’s internal politics.” The demands include scrapping of many “unequal” deals and treaties with India, including the Upper Karnali hydropower project and the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).
Other demands include annulment of the decision to hand over the management of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to an Indian firm, better control of the open border with India and removal of the provision of direct Indian assistance. The government allows the Kathmandu-based Indian Embassy to ‘directly invest INR 50 million in various projects without approval from the Ministry of Finance.’
The party has also demanded a halt to screening of Indian films and ‘obscene’ Hollywood movies, scrapping of a proposal to bring in American troops for disaster management and strict measures to prevent anti-China activities in Nepali soil.
On prospects of unification with the UCPN (Maoist), Baidya ruled out any such possibility.
“The UCPN (Maoist) is a neo-reformist party and our policy is to fight against it, so there is no possibility of a unification,” said Baidya. He further said the UCPN (Maoist) is talking about a working alliance and unification as it is losing organisational strength.
The party said a report submitted by the State Restructuring Committee and the CA Committee on State Restructuring should be the basis for decisions on federalism. The party also unveiled street programmes until it’s first general convention scheduled for January 9, 2013 in Kathmandu.