Daya Varma


Two separate documents, one authored by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman and the other by Mohan Baidya were presented to the National Cadre Conference. Prachanda argued in favour of Federal Republic and Baidya for People’s Republic like in China. The debate appeared healthy and the Conference adopted what is termed People’s Federal Democratic National Republic, which seems to accommodate both views. Such debates, not very characteristic of communist parties, are healthy development.


According to reliable news reports serious differences between Prachanda and Mohan Baidya’s faction of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) or CPN(M) have come out into the open in the Central Committee meeting of November 17, 2008, which was a prelude to the National Cadres Conference to be held from 20th onwards.  The positions presented by Prachanda and Baidya are substantially different.    Prachanda advocates  (a) the need to give continuity to the peace process,; (b) importance of completing the new constitution; (c) adjustment of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as per the pacts entered as agreed with other parties and (d)  institutionalising the newly established  federal republic.     Mohan Baidya stressed the need to end all remnants of ‘feudalism and imperialism’ and establishing a ‘new People’s republic’ so that the supremacy of the proletariat can be ensured. He contended that  the party would plunge into “a parliamentary quagmire” if the federal democratic republic is the objective.  Obviously these are major differences, with Prachanda acting like Budhdev Bhattacharjee of CPI(M) and Baidya like Indian Marxist-Leninists. Certainly these differences are no less serious than the ones that led to the split of the Communist Party of India and the formation by a section what is now the CPI(Marxist).


What is redeeming is that these differences are unlikely to lead to the split of the CPN(M) at least in the short run. According to recent reports,  Party Chairman and the present Prime Minister of Nepal, Pachanda (Pushpa

Kamal Dahal)’s garnered the support of 19 of the 21 cadre groups gathered to formulate the policy. This in no small way indicates the maturity of the Party and its cadres and consistent with a feasible pragmatic approach as opposed to idealistic theoretical approach. Moreover it is also a lesson in inner party democracy.  Even more reassuring is the compromise reached between the two fraction leading to proclamation that henceforth Nepal would be People’s Federal Democratic National Republic.


In a way the differences between Prachanda and Baidya are symbolic of differences among communist parties elsewhere although in other places these two lines are represented by separate and more often than not hostile fractions. One can hope that the method used for the resolution with active participation of the cadres might also prove useful to other parties in most of whom the whim of the General Secretary is supreme.  

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