Maoist Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the hardline camp in the UCPN (Maoist), has registered a note of dissent against the party’s decision to accept Nepal Army’s modality for PLA integration.
Earlier, he had registered his dissent when Chairman Dahal adopted the line of peace and constitution overturning the mandate of the Palungtar plenum.
Baidya has accused Chairman Dahal of deviating from the revolutionary course of the party. Republica’s Kiran Pun caught up with him at the party headquarters Paris Danda after the standing committee meeting of the party held on Saturday. Excerpts:
Republica: Why did you register your note of dissent? What is it about?
Mohan Baidya: It is not unnatural to have different opinions in a revolutionary party. To put it in concrete terms, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has deviated from the mandate and spirit of the Palungtar plenum and the subsequent Central Committee (CC) decision. Hence I registered my dissent.
Republica: You registered your dissent in the last standing committee as well. Why again?
Baidya: The context is not different this time as well. The issue at hand is about PLA integration. The peace process and constitution drafting should move ahead simultaneously. So many people sacrificed their lives for the sake of a “people’s constitution”, but attention has not been paid in that regard. We have suspicions that we may be betrayed. So I registered my dissent.
Republica: But the majority in the CC is against your ideological position.
Baidya: There is no need to link the current circumstances with the future of the revolution. Our stance is that the PLA integration and the constitution drafting should move ahead simultaneously. People will automatically launch a revolt if integration and the new constitution do not fulfill people’s aspirations. People’s revolt is inevitable if the state fails to address issues including state restructuring, national sovereignty, and bring an end to discriminations based on caste, religion, sex and class. We will then lead the revolt.
Republica: Do you think the combatants, especially those that support you, will accept the party’s decision on integration?
Baidya: It is our internal matter. Internal matters do not affect external matters. There can be agreements and disagreements in the party and the party has its own mechanism to solve them. We have cautioned that the party should not deviate from our ideology and betray the people.
Republica: The party establishment commands the majority. If Dahal declines to lead the struggle, will you still move ahead?
Baidya: The struggle will be launched. I strongly believe that the party will gradually support my ideology if situation turns adverse.
Republica: In the past you trusted Dahal but he ditched your party line.
Baidya: It will be too early to comment on this issue. We are holding discussions. I think Dahal has to be at the frontline to complete the revolution.
Republica: The circumstances are not in favor of your party line. So, how do you plan to move ahead?
Baidya: I don’t want to make comments now. It will largely depend on how the politics unfolds. The main thing is that we should not betray the people and the country. We never let down our revolutionary spirit. We will keep on launching struggles for national sovereignty and issues of people’s livelihood, until the “people’s revolution” reaches its logical conclusion.
Republica: But your group has been accused of trying to split the party.
Baidya: We are launching internal struggle in the party. So, it is absolutely wrong to level that allegation against us. It is our right to register notes of dissent. We should not assume that the majority is necessarily correct. Sometimes what the minority says can be true. It is
not true that the majority are necessarily revolutionaries. They can be opportunists.
Republica: Do you think the change of line by Chairman Dahal is the outcome of his ambition to become the prime minister, or that he came under the influence of foreign power centers? Why do you think he changed his ideological position?
Baidya: I cannot say anything. He may have his own position. What he did now is not right and I have already registered my dissent.
Republica: It is said that the party joined the peace process after you and CP Gajurel were detained in India. And it is said that it was Dahal’s design.
Baidya: It is absolutely wrong, I never said such things anywhere. These are conspiracies to create a rift between the chairman and me.
Republica: But you had filed a case in the party saying that your detention in India was part of the conspiracy.
Baidya: No, the incident is not linked with Dahal. I filed the case in a different context.
Republica: It is said that Chairman Dahal always maintains his supremacy in the party pitting you and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai against each other. Is it true?
Baidya: That is not true; we are playing our own roles. Chairman Prachanda, Bhattarai and I have our own roles. It is natural that the chairman often has differences with me and Bhattarai. It is the outside forces who are trying to provoke us. It will continue. We not only have differences, but also unity. It is necessary to keep the party alive.