Communist Party of Nepal—Maoist
|Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist|
Note: Not to be confused with the former Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) from 1996-2009, currently named Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) from 2009 onwards, nor the new 2014 breakway faction officially deemed CPN (M), led by Bikram Chand.
The Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (Nepali: नेपाल कम्युनिष्ट पार्टी - माओवादी, or CPN-M, is a communist party in Nepal. Its official designation has a dash, instead of using parenthesis. It was founded on 19 June 2012 and is currently led by Chairman Mohan Baidya (commonly known as Kiran). The faction was compelled to form a new party as the UCPN-M Chairman Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal) and Vice-Chairman and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai deviated from the party line.
The term Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist or abbreviated CPN-M has been used by many independent groups since 1995 and has become a major source of confusion for observers with so much name swapping and where silly syntax matters: dashes, spaces, double dashes, parenthesis can be all that differentiate different parties. Technically, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN (M)), officially with parenthesis not dashes, was first formed in 1995 following a split in the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre), though use of the dashed abbreviation CPN-M though syntactically incorrect, had been widespread. A radical faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Comrade Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai set up the CPN (Maoist) and denounced the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninists (CPN-UML) and other mainstream communist factions as 'renegades' and 'revisionists' due to their participation in the parliamentary process. It resorted to an armed struggle on February 13, 1996, by attacking police stations in the Rukum and Rolpa districts in northwestern Nepal and thereby declaring a 'People's War' in Nepal. CPN (M) took power in Nepal after winning the war and the agreement with the seven Party alliance and ending royal rule and has been a part of the Government in Nepal since then. On January 13, 2009, joint meeting of the central committees of CPN (Maoist) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unity Centre (CPN-Unity Centre) decided to name the new party as Unified CPN-Maoist (UCPN-M). Ironically, Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai both are now major players and supporters of the parliamentary process, major factors that has won their party removal from US list of terrorist organizations.
On 19 June 2012, a dissident group around Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) vice-president Mohan Baidya (alias Kiran) announced the formation of a new party: Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist or Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) or CPN-M. Baidya said the UCPN-M was destroying the achievement of the "People's War" and he announced a vertical split. The party is registered as SN 6 with the Election Commission of Nepal and has as election symbol the "Hammer and Sickle inside a circle". The announcement of the split from the UCPN-M and formation of the new outfit came at the end of the three-day national gathering of the followers in Kathmandu. The dissident party decided to split as they thought it's not fit to be associated with the mother party which is filled with opportunists. Echoing Prachanda's group in its early years, it enforced many a banda, yet unlike its predecessor it capitalized on popular anti-India sentiment and claimed the mother party give away too much sovereignty to India. CPN-M enforced trade stoppage with India confiscated Hindi popular music and movies. It This agitation had continued numerous times until the April 2015 Nepal earthquake interrupted politics with its destruction.
The party leaders say that the party has adopted the line of people’s revolt but will not take up arms immediately and it may take time. Baburam Bhattarai led government reluctantly claimed that most of the points of the then 40-point demands have already been fulfilled. Bhattarai also told the delegation that demand of people’s democratic revolution has also been fulfilled.
Chairman is Mohan Baidya Kiran, general secretary is Ram Bahadur Thapa (alias Badal). Another leader is Netra Bikram Chand (alias Biplav or Biplab), eventually split off and formed his own party. Among the most prominent of the representatives for the regional bureaus is Shiv Raj Gautam. In the 2008 Constituent Assembly election he was elected from the Dang-4 constituency, winning 18854 votes.
The Communist Party of Nepal—Maoist, has issued a warning against screening of Hindi films and operation of vehicles bearing Indian number plates in 10 districts, saying that anybody defying its ban will face consequences. The party imposed the ban in the districts under the Tamsaling Ethnic State Committee, including Chitwan, Makwanpur, Dhading and Kavre. It is claimed that the move was aimed at protecting national sovereignty.
As claimed, the party has banned the screening of Hindi movies and broadcast of Hindi songs in these districts in an attempt to promote Nepali films and songs. The ban on operation of vehicles with Indian number plates has also been imposed as a large number of such vehicles are found transporting agriculture goods from India, which has resulted in the domestic produce losing out the market in the country. The party has warned that anybody defying the ban will face consequences.
Following the CPN-Maoist's ban order, different broadcast media based in Chitwan and Makawanpur have stopped playing Hindi songs. Meanwhile, a delegation comprising representatives from the broadcast media based in the districts have urged the CPN-Maoist Chitwan District committee to withdraw the ban.
Seventy point demand
After 17 years down the line history has repeated once again. The CPN-Maoist handed over 70-point demand to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai that includes many of the 40-point demands of Bhattarai to the then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
The CPN-Maoist leaders claims that they are not taking the issue lightly. Chairman Mohan Baidya claims that the party will raise arms if the government remained indifferent towards their demands. The CPN-M warns everyone should take the statements of their Chairman seriously.
The CPN-M warns the government that they could also take risky way to ensure that their demands were fulfilled. The party claimed the right to revolt if the government ignored their demands and kept on lingering. The party has not taken any decision of registering the party with the Election Commission, giving space for the people to doubt over their intention. The party committees have also been giving training to their lower members to remain alert for the upcoming storm.
Secretary of the party Netra Bikram Chand, who is said to be the brain behind the split, rushed to China without attending the party’s most important Central Committee meeting. On his China visit, another Secretary Gurung said it was courtesy of all the diplomats to say that the parties should remain united. Sources in the party said Chand was on vigorous preparation of armed revolution at a time when the United States has just removed the UCPN-M from its terrorist list.
However, the party leaders say that the party has adopted the line of people’s revolt but will not take up arms immediately and it may take time. Gurung, who was also present in the delegation to handover the 70-point demands, said PM Bhattarai had told the delegation that most of the points of his 40-point demands have already been fulfilled. Bhattarai also told the delegation that demand of people’s democratic revolution has also been fulfilled.
PM had further said the there were three types of demands: Firstly, the ones that could be fulfilled immediately. Second type of demands were to be fulfilled along with the revolution with publicity and the third ones were misleading. He had said that the demands including the one regarding the Tribhuvan International Airport were misleading.
Explaining about the significance of the demands Gurung said that will be the basis for the party to begin struggle throughout the nation and attract public sentiment. “We will begin struggle from the common household problems including increasing inflation and then talk about national independence among others,” he said.
In 2014 secretary Netra Bikram Chand left the party on the 24th of November. On the 29th of November he announced the formation of a new party named Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Removing the dash and using the previous name of UCPN(m), used during the peoples war. A three day long gathering was held where Chand was appointed as a coordinator. The gathering called on a national gathering to finalize the party structure.
Chand's faction included 12 members of the central commitee.
- (Telegraph Nepal, 28/05/2012)
- (The Hindu, 18/06/2012)
- (Xinhua, 19/06/2012)
- (Zeenews, 27/07/2012)
- (Election Commission of Nepal)
- (Telegraph Nepal, 12/08/2012)
- (Telegraph Nepal, 02/09/2012)
- The Hindu, 05/09/2012)
- Telegraph Nepal, 06/09/2012)
- Ekantipur 24/11/2014
- Ekantipur 29/11/2014