After Unified Socialist move, Maoist Centre forms team to explore unity among left forcesMaoist vice-chair Krishna Bahadur Mahara leads the five-member task force.
With the poor show in the November 20 federal and provincial polls and the rise of new forces from elections, the CPN (Maoist Centre) seems to have felt the need for some hard work to keep itself relevant. To bolster its chances, the party has decided to go for a broader left unity.
A meeting of office bearers of the ruling party on Saturday formed a talks team led by vice-chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara and entrusted the five-member team with exploring the possibility of a left unity and initiating the process.
The panel includes the party’s general secretary Dev Gurung, and deputy general secretaries Girirajmani Pokhrel, Shakti Basnet and Janardan Sharma as members.
“We will hold talks with different parties including Nepal Samajbadi Party led by Baburam Bhattarai,” said Basnet, the team member.
On Saturday, Bhattarai and his supporters met Prime Minister and Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Baluwatar and discussed various issues including the parties’ unity.
Ganga Narayan Shrestha, co-chair of Nepal Samajbadi Party, said: “We will form a talks team at our party’s political committee meeting on Sunday to lay the ground for unification at the earliest.”
Former prime minister Bhattarai, who used to be an ideologue of the Maoist party, is in regular touch with Maoist Centre leaders for party unity.
Bhattarai’s NSP had contested the November 20 polls with the Maoist symbol and won a seat in the House of Representatives and two seats in the provincial assembly.
The party’s Mahendra Raya Yadav was elected to the lower house from Sarlahi-2. Phanindra Devkota and Ganga Narayan Shrestha were elected from Gorkha 2 (a) and Sindhuli 2 (b) respectively to provincial assemblies.
The CPN (Maoist Centre) accommodated one lawmaker from Bhattarai’s party under the Proportional Representation system in the House of Representatives as the two parties forged an electoral alliance.
On Thursday, the CPN (Unified Socialist) revived its four-member task force led by party general secretary Beduram Bhusal to hold talks with left-leaning forces. The team includes Gangalal Tuladhar, Prakash Jwala and Vijay Poudel as members.
But not all Maoist Centre leaders are on the same page when it comes to unity among the left parties. Some are not hopeful that its attempts may yield desired results given the failure of the 2018 unity with the CPN-UML in less than three years.
“I think this talks team formation is just a ritual to reciprocate the decision of the CPN (Unified Socialist),” said Ganesh Sah, secretary of the Maoist Centre. “It will hold dialogues with the parties including the UML but I don’t think it will yield any substantive result.”
Sah doubts the motive as he thinks that all “feudalistic communist parties” that follow parliamentary democracy are focused only on reaping the benefits of power politics.
“I don’t think the Maoist Centre can yield any results if it intends to unite with the UML anytime soon,” said Jhalak Subedi, who comments mostly on left politics. “It seems that the talks team has been formed focusing on the parties led by Baburam Bhattarai and Madhav Nepal and the splinter groups of the Maoist party.”
“Since both the Maoist Centre and the Unified Socialist are under extreme pressure for a merger given their poor show in the latest polls, they could continue with the dialogue,” Subedi told the Post.