Maoist Infighting Update

Standing Committee meet ends; Baidya demands Central Committee meet

SEP 03 – The UCPN (Maoist) Standing Committee meeting held at the party headquarters in Paris Dada, Kathmandu concluded on Saturday (today) after party Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya demanded the party Central Committee meeting. The meeting was said to iron out the internal differences surfaced after the party handed over the keys to the arms containers to the Special Committee. The hard-line faction of the Maoists led by Baidya has been protesting against the keys handover. Yesterday, the Baidya camp had even boycotted the SC meeting to express their discontent over the key handover issue. The Maoists have handed over the keys to the containers at all the seven cantonments to the Special Committee on Thursday and Friday.

‘Keys handover won’t be halted: Bhattarai aide

SEP 03 – UCPN (Maoist) Politburo member Devendra Poudel, a close aide to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, today said the handover of the keys of the arms containers to the Special Committee would not be taken back just because of some protests. Poudel termed Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya’s protests as aimless and baseless agitation and advised Baidya to reconsider his stance. Speaking at a programme organised by Reporters Club in the Capital, Poudel said, “Both the party and the government would not step back from the decision. It is not a child’s play.” Also on the occasion, Poudel said, protesting against the own party even before the cabinet extension is as unethical as it could be. He said Baidya’s action has opened a way for the critics to question the party. He further added that the peace process and the constitution drafting would continue without Baidya if needed be. Poudel said the cabinet would more or less be extended within tomorrow. “Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai cannot convince everyone. He would not get stuck in petty discussions,” said Poudel.

Dahal sends PLA commanders to cantonments

SEPT 03: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday (yesterday) sent all the seven divisional commanders to their cantonments, cutting short their stay in Kathmandu in view of the likely untoward incidents in cantonments in the wake of the row in the party over the key handover issue. The divisional commanders had arrived in the capital for a general staff meeting of the Maoist PLA on Thursday and were supposed to attend a two-day discussion on technical aspects of integration. But the meetings have been cancelled as they had to return to their respective cantonments on Friday.

“We returned to our respective cantonments following the party chairman´s directive,” Suk Bahadur Roka Magar, division commander at the second division of the PLA Cantonment, told Republica newspaper. On Thursday, the division commanders had grilled Dahal about their future, pressing the party leadership to come up with a concrete plan on integration and rehabilitation. According to Magar, their meeting on Saturday was to take a concrete decision on the technical aspects of integration. “The meeting was called on Saturday (today) to take concrete decision on the technical aspects –ranking, fixing responsibilities of commanders who would not opt for integration,” Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, divisional commander at the sixth division of the PLA told Republica.

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