-- Rai, other politburo members absent in politburo
-- Ram Chandra Jha says he is in wait and see mood
-- Party decides to launch massive protests against govt
KATHMANDU, June 2: The two-day politburo meeting of CPN-UML Saturday decided to form a high-level commission to set the party´s official position on state restructuring.
The third-largest party took the initiative after some of the UML´s key leaders from ethnic and indigenous communities threatened quit the party accusing the leadership of being reluctant to adopt ethnic-based federal model.
"The high-level commission will hold dialogues with party cadres across the country to offer suggestions to the party´s central committee to draw up its policy on state restructuring," chief of the party´s publicity department, Pradeep Gyawali told Republica. "The commission will seek solution for the intra-party disputes on the issue in the changed context."
According to him, the party´s central committee meeting on Sunday will possibly nominate the commission´s head and its members.
The UML´s Vice-Chairman Ashok Rai, politburo members Prithivi Subba Gurung, Bijay Subba and Ram Chandra Jha have insisted that the party must be ready for identity-based state restructuring and named after dominant ethnic groups such as Newa, Limbuwan or Magarat. But top party leaders have firmly objected the idea saying that ethnicity-based federalism would sow the seeds of ethnic conflict in the country.
While Rai, Prithivi Subba Gurung and Bijay Subba were absent in the politburo meeting for the second consecutive day on Saturday, Jha told the meeting that he was in a wait and watch mood on whether or not to quit the party. Gurung said he couldn´t attend the meeting as he was already scheduled to attend a function in Pokhara. He said he would attend the party´s central committee meeting scheduled from Sunday.
On the party´s decision to form the commission, Gurung said there was no need to form the commission as the central committee itself could have taken an appropriate decision. "Though I am yet to study the terms of reference of the commission, I feel it was not necessary," said Gurung.
Earlier, Jha told the meeting that he would first study the decisions taken by the politburo and central committee meetings in regards to the party´s official position on state restructuring before reaching his own conclusion. He left the meeting in the middle after airing his views for two hours.
"I put my views clearly on what policy the party should adopt in regards to state restructuring. I will decide only after studying the party´s position set by the ongoing politburo and CC meetings," Jha told Republica.
He said a large section in the party was sentimentally detached from the leadership allegedly due to the latters´ reluctance to address their grievances. "Now the leaders must be ready to address the issue with sincere efforts," he said. "Only then we can remain in the party."
Also, the politburo meeting decided to form a taskforce with a mandate to review the implementation part of the party´s official policies set by its eighth general convention held three years ago in Butwal. "The taskforce was formed as the party leadership was widely criticized for deviating from the official policies set by the general convention," said a politburo member. "The body will study if there were deviations in the course of taking some decisions in the past."
The other decision was to launch "massive" protests from the people´s level against the Maoist-led government´s intention to impose "autocratic" system in the country.
"The way the prime minister dissolved the CA and unilaterally announced the fresh CA polls clearly indicates that Maoists have not renounced their policy to impose totalitarian regime in the country," said Gyawali. "So, we have vowed to fight against the Maoists´ intention to capture the power through force."
He said the UML will join hands with Nepali Congress and other democratic parties to fight against the Maoists.