Maoists’ statute draft riles Baidya

Says it was made public without taking the party’s central secretariat into confidence

Kathmandu, March 6:

Days after the Unified CPN-Maoist’s constitution-drafting panel made public its preliminary draft of new constitution for public debate, senior party leader Mohan Baidya said the draft was made public without discussion in the party’s central secretariat. Baidya is the chief of the party’s organisation department.

Unified Maoist’s central committee meeting had formed an 11-member constitution-drafting panel led by senior leader and Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai. The draft was made public on Monday through and most of the dailies had highlighted its salient features.

“It’s immature on the part of the panel to make public the draft without having necessary debate in the party’s decision making body,” Baidya said, adding that it was a “serious mistake” and that he would take up the issue with the party chairman.

He also went to the extent of saying that he even did not go through the content of the draft. “The process of making the draft public itself is wrong,” he said, adding that the he was opposed to the process.

It is sad to say that a very serious issue has been brought to the public in an “irresponsible way”, Baidya said. “I am surprised that the Maoist’s concept of new constitution has been made public to the media but remained unnoticed to the central secretariat,” he added.

A source close to Dr Bhattarai, however, refuted Baidya’s allegation and said that the draft was discussed with the party boss before it was publicised. The source added that the panel had the right to bring it out to the public debate as it was simply a preliminary draft.

“With the draft constitution already made public for debate, it also automatically refutes the opposition parties’ allegation that the Maoists are not serious about adopting new constitution on time,” the source said.

While addressing a rally in Chitwan a few days ago, Nepali Congress president and former PM Girija Prasad Koirala had alleged that the Maoists were not sincere about adopting the new constitution.

“And, how do you expect feedbacks from the general people and intelligentsia without taking it to public?” questioned the source.