The eighth general convention of the CPN-Maoist Centre began at Nepal Academy Hall in Kamaladi today.

The party, which had announced the national convention, later decided to change it into a general convention. The standing committee meeting decided to this effect as per the request of party members.

As many as 1,600 members who will participate in the convention have begun arriving in the capital to attend the fourday convention. The convention will elect a total of 199-member leadership, including 14 office bearers.

The party has mobilised its youth wing, the Young Communist League, to manage the general convention.

Leaders of political parties, including Prime Minister and President of the Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba, attended the inauguration ceremony of the party's general convention today. CPN (Unified Socialist) Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal and Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav also participated in the convention.

CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli, however, was not present as he had gone to his constituency in Jhapa.

Addressing the convention, Deuba praised CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, saying he had made it possible to promulgate the Constitution through the constituent Assembly. "The same constitution has guaranteed federalism in the country, along with other achievements," Deuba said.

Dahal said, "It is high time we introspect where we have gone wrong after the Comprehensive Peace Accord. I'll introspect my own actions as our party has become weaker."

He said it was unfortunate that the unified communist force, the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had split.

"Let us self-evaluate how we split. Why did we dismantle what we had created?" Dahal said.

Nepal, Rastriya Prajatantra Party's General Secretary Kunti Shahi, CPN-ML General Secretary CP Mainali, Chairman of Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal Upendra Yadav, CPN-UML General Secretary Shankar Pokharel, and CPN (Revolutionary Maoist) CP Gajurel also addressed the gathering. Gajurel stressed on the unity of all communist parties in the country. Yadav said the government should focus on ensuring justice for conflict victims of the 10-year armed conflict.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.