TIKA R PRADHAN
KATHMANDU: The establishment side of the Unified CPN-Maoist today formed an Ex-PLA Association Nepal under the leadership of former PLA commander Nanda Kishor Pun.
On April 24, the rival faction of the party had reconstituted a ‘defunct’ outfit — People’s Volunteers Bureau — under the leadership of Maoist standing committee member Netra Bikram Chand.
Today’s gathering of the establishment side elected a 151-member central committee.
Former commander Barshaman Pun, now finance minister, has been chosen to lead EPAN. Former deputy commander Chandra Prakash Khanal will be the spokesperson. The CC will include former division commanders to brigade deputy commanders and will incorporate all the former PLA members opting to retire, unverified combatants and those who had joined YCL from PLA. The rival faction of the Maoist party has formed a 17-member central committee of PVB to do necessary preparations for what they call people’s revolt. The rival faction claims that people’s revolt is the official line of the party.
Khanal today said the newly formed association will basically focus on production and development activities. “EPAN will have a command structure resembling ex-PLA, but it will certainly not have the military structure,” said Khanal.
Addressing today’s gathering, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who used to be the supreme commander of the now dissolved PLA, reminded the former fighters that it was ideology that helped them accumulate arms (during war). “If we follow a correct ideology, we can obtain what we want,” said Dahal. “Arms and armies were only the means, not the end. It’s the ideology that reigns supreme.”