Sud­den birth of Com­mu­nist Party of Nepal: How it be­came pos­si­ble?

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Our Po­lit­i­cal An­a­lyst

There were doubts about the suc­cess of the uni­fi­ca­tion process be­tween the UML and the Maoist Cen­ter due to Prime Min­is­ter and UML chair­man KP Sharma Oli's work­ing style and in his cor­ner­ing of the Maoist lead­ers. Maoist lead­ers had be­come sus­pi­cious about Oli's work­ing style as Oli trans­ferred sec­re­taries with­out in­for­ma­tion to the Maoist min­is­ters; Oli didn't give nec­es­sary im­por­tance to the Maoist min­is­ters dur­ing the In­dian prime min­is­ter Narendra Modi's Nepal visit. Even dur­ing the cer­e­mony of lay­ing down the foun­da­tion stone of the Arun Project, the Maoist En­ergy min­is­ter was not in­vited. At the din­ner hosted by the PM in hon­our of his In­dian coun­ter­part also, the Maoist min­is­ters were not in­vited. Ac­cord­ingly, at the civic re­cep­tion cer­e­mony in hon­our of Modi, or­gan­ised by the Kath­mandu Me­trop­o­lis City, the Maoist min­is­ters were not seen. What was Da­hal think­ing?: Maoist Cen­ter chair­man Push­paka­mal Da­hal was of the view that KP Oli would not re­spond to his de­mands – hand­ing over the post of PM to him by Oli after two years and also sup­port­ing Da­hal as the chair­man of the uni­fied party from the uni­fi­ca­tion na­tional con­ven­tion. There­fore, Da­hal was con­sult­ing with his cir­cle of Maoist lead­ers cal­cu­lat­ing the up­com­ing po­lit­i­cal sce­nario. As both the par­ties dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, had ex­pressed the com­mit­ment that they would go for uni­fi­ca­tion of both the par­ties, Da­hal was un­able to run-away from the uni­fi­ca­tion process, but he was not in a mood to go for uni­fi­ca­tion with­out en­sur­ing his po­lit­i­cal fu­ture. There­fore, the Maoist lead­ers were say­ing that there was no pos­si­bil­ity of uni­fi­ca­tion in the ‘as-it-is’ sit­u­a­tion. Da­hal was of the view to con­tinue talks with Oli and con­tinue the present al­liance un­til two years and after two years, break­ing the al­liance with the UML by de­vel­op­ing a new al­liance with the Nepali Con­gress and other demo­cratic forces. Through this ini­tia­tive, Da­hal could have be­come the PM for the rest three years.

Sud­den de­vel­op­ment:

On 15 May, Oli in­vited Da­hal for a one-on-one talks. Da­hal was not hope­ful about his con­cerns be­ing se­ri­ously taken by Oli, how­ever, he could not say No to the meet­ing. At the meet­ing when Da­hal ex­pressed his views about his po­lit­i­cal fu­ture, Oli be­came very pos­i­tive. Oli as­sured Da­hal by say­ing that he will try to de­velop an en­vi­ron­ment for a con­sen­sus on Da­hal in the elec­tion of party chair­man from the uni­fi­ca­tion na­tional con­ven­tion. If there will be no en­vi­ron­ment of un­op­posed elec­tion, in that case, Oli would sup­port Da­hal. Also, Oli, with­out hes­i­ta­tion, said that he would han­dover the PM's post to Da­hal along with sup­port­ing him as the new party chair­man. After Oli's com­mit­ment, Da­hal be­came ready to com­plete the uni­fi­ca­tion process.

Oli's com­pul­sion:

Since Oli paid a state visit to In­dia, his im­age as a pa­tri­otic leader was dam­aged. It fur­ther de­clined since In­dian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal. None other than NC pres­i­dent Sher Ba­hadur Deuba blamed Oli for to­tally sur­ren­der­ing to In­dia. Nepali water re­sources ex­perts se­ri­ously op­posed the hand­ing over of the Arun-3 project to In­dia. They were also sus­pi­cious about the be­gin­ning of in­land wa­ter­ways, which could be a se­ri­ous de­sign of In­di­ans for cap­tur­ing big Nepali rivers. After En­ergy Min­is­ter Bar­shaman Pun made pub­lic a whitepa­per on hy­dro-power stat­ing that the govern­ment would construct the Bud­hi­gan­daki project by it­self, the Chi­nese also be­came sus­pi­cious about Oli's role. For dam­age con­trol and to di­vert the in­creas­ing neg­a­tive trend against him, Oli had to do some­thing new. There­fore, Oli gave a dra­matic twist on the uni­fi­ca­tion talks by fi­nally agree­ing with Da­hal for the merger of UML and Maoist Cen­ter into Nepal Com­mu­nist Party. Both the lead­ers be­came ready to an­nounce the es­tab­lish­ment of the Nepal Com­mu­nist Party co­in­cid­ing with the death an­niver­sary of UML lead­ers Madan Bhandary and Jib­nath Aashrit on 17 May.

Da­hal's be­lief:

Da­hal was also sur­prised from the sud­den change in Oli's be­hav­ior. How­ever, Da­hal has an­a­lysed that Oli, to es­cape from the on­go­ing cri­sis within the party and also to es­cape from the in­creas­ing charge of sur­ren­der­ing to In­dia, he has be­come more flex­i­ble. Da­hal has an­a­lysed that it is al­most cer­tain that the present uni­fi­ca­tion will be ben­e­fi­cial for him.

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