Chand-led CPN Maoist steps up donation driveThe newly-formed CPN Maoist has intensified its donation drive to collect funds to run its activities.
The party, led by Netra Bikram Chand, has been sending out letters to private industries, business houses, schools, colleges and even government offices seeking support for its campaign to “safeguard” the achievements obtained through the people’s struggle.
According to businessmen, though the letters bearing Chand’s signature do not specify the amounts the party cadres are demanding hefty sum. The party has formed multiple squads to collect donations from various sectors.
Leaders from the party’s student wing have been approaching schools and colleges, while those leading the youth and labour wings have been mobilised to collect funds from the industries and business houses.
The party, set up a month ago with the backing of nearly a third of the central committee members of Mohan Baidya led CPN-Maoist, has started its first national gathering in Dang to decide on its future course.
An industrialist said that party cadres would ask for tidy donation when they visit firms in person but the letter does not specify any amount. But they are also not using threatening language, he said. “The tendency of using threatening language has slowed down over the last few years.”
Officials of industry bodies, including the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), said they had not yet received formal complaints about extortion from the Chand party.
“If the reports of extortion are true, it would be very unfortunate as it will drive away potential investment from the country,” said FNCCI President Pradeep Jung Pandey
CNI Senior Vice-president Hari Bhakta Sharma demanded that donation should either be declared illegal or be made transparent.
Another industrialist said the government’s failure to initiate action against such activities has boosted the morale of extortionists.