Home Minister Thapa-led team to hold talks with Chand-led Nepal Communist PartyThe government in March 2019 had imposed a ban on the Chand party’s activities, calling it a criminal outfit.
The government has formed a two-member team to hold talks with the Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party.
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa will lead the government talks team while Rajan Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, will be the member.
The government has formed a two-member team to hold talks with the Chand-led Nepal Communist Party, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Parbat Gurung said in a press statement on Tuesday.
The Oli government in March 2019 had imposed a ban on the Chand-led party’s activities, calling it a criminal outfit following two blasts in the Capital in which one person had died.
The Chand party had earlier formed a three-member talks team of its own. Chiran Pun, a Central Committee member is leading the talks team from the outfit, with Khagda Bahadur Bishowkarma and Dharmendra Bastola as members.
Pun and Bishowkarma have for a while been holding talks with government ministers informally. Bastola is currently in jail. In the second week of January, Minister for Water Supply Mani Thapa had met with Bastola at Nakkhu Prison.
Later in the third week of February, Chand issued a statement, expressing its willingness to sit for talks with the government.
Chand was once Home Minister Thapa’s comrade in arms when both were in the Maoist party that had waged a decade-long war against the state.
But both left the Maoist party in 2012, accusing the Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal of deviating from the ideology and leaving the “people’s war” halfway. They had formed their own Maoist party under Mohan Baidya’s leadership. Chand’s association with Thapa and Baidya, however, did not last long. In 2014, Chand broke away with Thapa and Baidya and formed his own Nepal Communist Party, shedding the “Maoist” tag, to launch what he called a “unified people’s revolution.”
Two years later, in 2016, Thapa returned to the Dahal camp and in 2018, he became home minister in the Oli Cabinet. When the Nepal Communist Party split, politically, in December after Oli’s House dissolution, Thapa chose to stay with Oli.
After the government formed a talks team, the Chand party too has announced its two-member team.
The team will be led by Bishwakarma, according to a Central Committee member, with Uday Bahadur Chalaune as the only member.
This article has been updated to include Chand party's talks team.