Nepal’s ruling Maoist party forms 156-member politburo, fails to pick office bearers yet

New Delhi, July 9: The ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) announced its 156-member politburo on Thursday evening. A meeting of the party’s Central Committee held at the Nepal Academy in the heart of the capital city finalised the names of politburo members, a spokesperson for the party, Krishna Bahadur Mahara said.

‘The meeting unanimously approved the names of politburo members as proposed by the party chairman. Of them, 125 are full-fledged members while 31 are alternative politburo members,’ Mahara told Indian Narrative on Friday morning.

Earlier in the afternoon on Thursday, central committee members raised questions on the party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahala alias Prachanda’s selection criteria for politburo members, according to leaders who participated in the meeting.

Another senior leader of the party told Indian Narrative that tensions rose high in the meeting as some central committee members questioned why some qualified leaders and regions were not incorporated in the politburo.

According to him, they objected to chairman Prachanda’s unilateral proposal to incorporate several junior leaders including his daughter Renu Dahal and daughter-in-law Bina Magar in the list of politburo members even as senior leaders who had made sacrifices to the party for years were left out.

‘The issue was resolved as the chairman came up with the revised list of politburo members later in the meeting. The politburo is now relatively inclusive,’ the leader said on condition of anonymity. There were over 300 aspirants for the party’s politburo committee.

The ruling party will soon finalise the names of office bearers and form the 46-member standing committee, according to the spokesperson.

‘It might take another one week to pick the names of officer bearers and standing committee members,’ he said, adding that the party leadership is trying to forge a common consensus for the same. In Thursday’s meeting, chairman Dahal told the party leaders that he is willing to nominate senior leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Krishna Bahadur Mahara as two senior vice chairmen.

Amid the Maoist meeting, several party leaders are eyeing for the post of party’s general secretary which is the most powerful executive position in the party after the chairman. Party chairman Prachanda has been unable to finalise the name of the party’s general secretary as there are two leaders Barshaman Pun and Janardan Sharma, his two confidants in the party, who are vying for the same post.

It’s a very hard choice for chairman Prachanda, political observers said here.

‘It’s very difficult for Maoist chairman Prachanda to pick one of them because both of them have been his close confidents for years and have made huge contribution to the party since the time of conflict era,’ Sitaram Baral, a political analyst based in Kathmandu, told Indian Narrative.

The CPN-Maoist Centre, a key ally of the Deuba-led government is finalising its crucial party committees including office bearers and standing committee, ahead of the provincial and parliamentary elections which are taking place later this year. The CPN-Maoist Centre, a former rebel party that waged war against the state for ten years since 1996 and joined the peaceful mainstream politics in 2007, has been spearheaded by Prachanda since its inception in the late 1990s.

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