Nepal: The Maoist Game Plan!

Nepal: The Maoist Game Plan!Niraj Aryal: Baburam Bhattarai, one of the prime proponents of Maoist ideology presently leads a so-called Democratic Party called as ‘Naya Shakti Party’. He used nom de guerre Lal Dhoj for security reasons when he was operating the Maoist movement while himself residing in New Delhi, India.

His only senior in the party- that instigated the bloody Peoples’ Revolt, Pushpa Kamal Dahal popularly known as Prachanda, currently co-chairs the former United Marxist Leninist (UML) Party.

He virtually merged the major Maoists’ splinter that he was heading into the UML. The UML leaders were generous enough to call their new party ‘Nepal Communist Party’.

After joining the new party, Prachanda on some occasions has publicly accepted the ideals of a democratic order. If Prachanda is to be trusted then he is already a democrat. This is not all.

There are few more splinters of the original Maoists’ Party.

Mohan Baidya Pokharel aka ‘Kiran’ denounces the merger of the Maoists’ Party into the UML and calls it Prachanda’s ‘counter revolutionary activity.’

Kiran-whom people thought was Prachanda’s Communist guru, and Chandra Prakash Gajural aka ‘Gaurav’- another ferocious Maoist leader, now lead a separate splinter of the original Maoists’ party.

The reality is that it is very difficult for common men to even recall name of the party that Kiran and Gaurav currently lead.

Though name of the party matters least, the party as such matters for political reasons.

The other splinter of the Maoists’ Party, currently chaired by Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’ is in a state of utter confusion. They can neither accept what their former comrade in arms have already accepted nor does it seem they have the guts to declare an all-out war with the state.

Whether Biplav is a confused leader or he is keeping analysts guessing is not known yet?

Biplav’s party, according to a fresh media report, is continuing with the policies of their mother party. Extortion and ransoming continues unabated in some parts of the country. The other day only, two of their leaders were arrested from Kathmandu, who according to the Criminal Investigation Department of Nepal Police, were making threatening phone calls to businessmen and were demanding ransoms.

So much so that, a recent report even claimed an elected representative publicly accepted of paying a hefty sum of money to the Maoists’ party because of a life threat on her.

The question is why the Maoists’ leaders who until the last decade together fought a bloody war with the state, parted their ways only a few years after they joined the mainstream politics?

More interesting is to visually analyze how they have positioned themselves in the political spectrum. This is important.

Perhaps this is where the answer lies.

In the political spectrum, Baburam is comfortably located along side Nepali Congress and Biplav is on the far left. Rest of them including Prachanda finds himself in between the two extremes.

There is evidently one thing in common between these communists and that is the ‘vigor and enthusiasm’ with which they celebrate late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s birthday and deride at Nepal’s founding fathers.

Add to this Prachanda’s threatening statement made at a public function the other day.

Amresh Kumar Singh- a Nepali Congress leader knows the inner side of Prachanda. Singh recently in an interview claimed ‘Prachanda is a sensitive personality’.

It is widely believed Amresh is a personal friend of Prachanda from his Delhi days.

“Dahal ji talks sense when he is in some sort of discomfort”, so claimed Singh.

What made Prachanda so uncomfortable the other day that he had to publicly declare ‘Maoist movement is still kicking and alive’?

Prachanda is absolutely correct when he says it is still alive because ‘Biplav’ – one of his disciples is making sure the movement continues even thirteen years after its formal conclusion. And,

Gaurav talking to a television channel recently confirmed that his party is ideologically very close to Biplav led Maoists’ movement.

Politically, the leaders who had in the past been part of or had led the Maoists’ movement are in an exceptionally comfortable position.

For example Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ who used to be one of the prominent leaders of the Kiran-Gaurav faction, flipped sides to join Prachanda. Badal is now home minister of the country.

Similarly, Mani Thapa- who until the other day publicly derided Prachanda has become a leader of Nepal Communist Party.

Is there any possibility that Gaurav aka Gajurel accepts Prachanda’s proposal to lead the Foreign Ministry? Certainly, he will comply with this lucrative proposition. And, by extension what is the guarantee that Biplav will not join Prachanda? Or, the other way round?

It may not at all be a conjecture that former Maoist leaders could now be found spread along the Nepali political spectrum. They are occupying significant space from Right to Left in Nepali politics. The idea is to build upon the foundations and when needed the leaders who are visibly separated could join the strongest of all the parties they have founded.

The other side of this hypothesis is also that if pressed hard they could even join Biplav’s ongoing movement. Dr. Baburam- a communist by blood, could easily dump his so-called democratic party to rejoin the Maoists’ movement that he had so carefully nurtured along with Prachanda with the blessings of Professor SD Muni?

Not for nothing, Prachanda recently warned of ‘another revolt’ and claimed it will be deadlier than the last one. The Maoists’ great game begins.


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