People’s democracy or socialism: NCP leaders confused

Kathmandu December 29

With Nepal Communist Party  (NCP) Co-chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli focusing on  people’s democracy and the party’s other Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal advocating socialism, NCP leaders have become confused regarding the party’s ultimate goal.

This divergence of views surfaced when the co-chairs clarified in the Standing Committee meeting that concluded yesterday.

Leaders sought clarification on the statement of their joint political document that said people’s democracy would be the party’s minimum goal and socialism its maximum goal.

Although, the joint political document had stated that the party’s aim was to prepare  the foundation for  socialism,  Oli and Dahal, however,  clarified differently on the final day of the SC meeting with Oli focussing on people’s democracy propounded by Madan Bhandari and Dahal on socialism, according to a Standing committee member.

“Oli and Dahal’s clarifications have created confusion whether people’s democracy or socialism will be the party’s goal. This confusion will end only after the party’s General Convention,” SC member Ghanshyam Bhusal told THT. The party’s general convention is expected to be held after two years.

“Oli’s message was that the party had not completed the revolution required for achieving people’s democracy. There, however, are leaders who believe this revolution is over and the party needs to complete the socialist revolution in a phase-wise manner,” Bhusal said.

Another standing committee member said Oli was trying to toe the line of people’s democracy while Dahal had opted for socialism.

NCP sources said senior leaders Jhalanath Khanal, Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bamdev Gautam favoured socialism, while Madhav Kumar Nepal was vacillating on the issue.

“There is no going back on socialism because the constitution says the state’s goal will be socialism,” a party source said.

Oli, who led the CPN-UML before merger with the CPN-MC, had adopted People’s Multi-party Democracy as its main political line, while the CPN-Maoist Centre had adopted the line of people’s democracy of the 21st century.

The two parties merged in May pledging to adopt a new political line after the General Convention and to intensify their discussion on the lines to be adopted by the unified party.

According to Bhusal, Oli and Dahal will rewrite their political document to incorporate suggestions and feedback from party leaders, which will be presented at the party secretariat meeting. The secretariat will finalise and publish the document. “The party has moved on the right track now, which was not the case earlier,” Bhusal said.

Asked what the party would do with Gautam’s political document, sources close to Oli and Dahal said some of his points would be incorporated in the joint political document.

Oli loyalist Kiran Gurung had said in the SC meeting that party leaders did not need to study Marxism for they should now focus on achieving the goals of development and prosperity.

The joint document said that a phase of democratic movement had already been completed and the party needed to prepare the foundation for socialism by developing an  independent, self-dependent national economy and providing more incentives to the working class and progressive forces.