Nepal’s powerful Maoist party, a key constituent of the government, is set to split again, and the breakaway faction wants something akin to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of India.
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which led a decade long civil war until 2006 and is headed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, is on the verge of a fourth split.
The man spearheading the rebellion is his former confidant and former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, who completed his PhD from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University on regional development and planning.
Bhattarai, who quit the party in September voicing displeasure over the new constitution the party chose, wants to form a new political party akin to Delhi’s ruling AAP, his aides said.
This could happen within one and a half month.
Bhattarai said his party would be socialist in nature and not a hardcore communist outfit.
A total 45 central committee, standing committee and politburo members of the Maoist party close to Bhattarai on Tuesday furnished their resignations in order to join the proposed party.
A meeting of these leaders held at Bhattarai’s residence decided to end their association with the Maoist party, said Ram Rijan Yadav, a party leader. “We have also given up the party membership.”
This is not the first time the Maoists have split in Nepal.
In 2009, a faction led by Matrika Yadav split. In 2012, the party suffered another split led by veteran communist leader Mohan Bidhaya Kiran.
The party again split in 2014. This time a long-time aide of Prachanda, Netra Bikram Chand, formed a new communist party.
Prachanda’s UPCN-Maoist is in the government led by the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist.