Maoists, Masal hold unity talks

Kathmandu, October 13:

A joint meeting of the CPN-Maoist and CPN (Unity-Centre Masal) today agreed in principle to unify both the parties at the earliest. But the parties are yet to reach an understanding on some key issues including the name of the unified party, party’s future political orientation and guiding principles.

Senior Maoist leader Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran,’ who is leading the Maoist side for unification, told this daily that they were yet to do internal homework on key ideological and organisational issues.

General secretary of the Unity-Centre Masal Narayan Kaji Shrestha ‘Prakash’ has been insisting that the Maoist should give up the party’s ideology of Prachandapath and name of the unified party should remain the Communist Party of Nepal without any tags added to it, a source close to the Maoists told this daily.

Prakash is also learnt to have urged the Maoist side to abandon the long-held view of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism, an ideology that guided the Maoists during the People’s War.

However, the Maoist side is learnt to have stuck to its stand that the party could not abandon Prachandapath and that the name of the unified party should remain CPN-Maoist until a new general convention is held. The date for such a convention is also yet to be fixed.

The Maoist side is said to have proposed to table Prachandapath for discussion in the upcoming seventh general convention. But the Unity-Centre Masal wants to delete the Prachandapath form the party literature well before the convention.

“We have proposed to settle the contentious issues in the upcoming general convention which will decide the party’s political orientation,” Baidhya said. Besides Baidhya, Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal,’ Posta Bahadur Bogati and Krishna Bahadur Mahara represented the Maoists while Prakash, Lilamani Pokharel and Giriraj Mani Pokharel represented the Unity-Centre Masal.

Both the parties had split in 1993 following ideological differences over raising arms to overthrow the monarchy. But a breakaway faction led by Prachanda decided to wage People’s War in February 1996 and continued its armed insurgency till the 12-point understanding was reached with the then Seven-Party Alliance in 2005.