Maoist Standing Committee member Netra Bikram Chand is the right-hand man of Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya. He talked to Republica´s Kiran Pun on the ongoing tussle within the party. Excerpts:
How do you view the separate gathering of the central committee (CC) members from the party establishment?
It can be viewed from two different angles. First, there is nothing wrong in holding such a meeting; we have the official policy to let the dissenting groups hold such meetings. But the flip side is that they have decided to call another CC meeting without implementing the decisions of the last CC meeting. It will be meaningless. Besides, any one faction alone doesn´t have the right to call a CC meeting; there must be consensus among all the factions. So the recent CC meeting has violated the party´s norms and principles.
The meeting has decided that the party stands no chance to stay united without your faction [led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya] switching over to the line of peace and constitution. What is your response?
The terms ´peace´ and ´constitution´ are being used with malafide intent to damage our reputation. We have construed it as an attempt to force the lower class people to wage a war. What is “peace and constitution”, anyway? Who said we are against peace and constitution? We are concerned about the contents of the constitution and lasting peace. Peace and constitution should not serve the interests of the upper class alone. And we have justly raised the issues as per the party´s decisions. It is unfortunate that the party establishment is blaming us the way the NC and UML are blaming the chairman (Pushpa Kamal Dahal) and our whole party.
So, will you not participate in the forthcoming CC meeting?
As per the party statute, party general secretary (Ram Bahadur Thapa) alone has the authority to call a CC meeting. No particular faction has the right to do so. The decision of a faction to call a CC meeting is not valid.
Chairman Dahal reportedly told the CC members close to him that the line your faction has been floating will be appropriate only if you go back to war. What do you say?
It is strange that he said such a thing. I think it is meaningless and only a subjective interpretation of what we have been saying. Other parties have also been saying such things and we are used to hearing such things. We are only demanding the implementation of decisions taken by the last CC meeting.
Your faction claims that Dahal has been cheating you time and again. But why do you trust him time and again?
It is unfortunate that our understanding with him has not been implemented this time as well. We want the decisions to be implemented and we are pressing him for that.
Will the party remain united in future?
It will depend on how the intra-party discussions move ahead. Things will fall in line if the party decisions are implemented.