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Maoist dissidents hold national gathering

Kathmandu: Ignoring calls for reconciliation by party supremo Prachanda, Maoist dissidents today held a rebel national gathering of their own, harping on the need to form a new outfit to reclaim their "lost identity", signaling an impending split. Addressing the gathering, senior vice-chairman and top dissident leader Mohan Vaidya said the party leadership had failed to serve the interests of the country and the people.

Vaidya, whose group has charged Prachanda and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of abandoning the "communist ideals" and succumbing to "status quoist forces", told the gathering that they will bring unity among the people by launching a new party. The top hardliner leader said the "Maoist party has lost its identity" there is a "need to forming a new party with a new identity".

He also blamed top leaders of major political parties, including Maoist chief Prachanda and Premier Bhattarai for the dissolution of Constituent Assembly (CA) without the drafting of a constitution. Party sources said a final decision on whether split the ruling UCPN-Maoist will be taken in tomorrow`s closed door session, that will be attended by 200 delegates tomorrow.

More than 3,200 representatives from across the country attended the first day of the gathering being organised near the famous Bouddhanath Stupa at the outskirts of the Nepalese capital today. The meet is significant as it would decide whether the faction would actually break away and form a new party.

The dissident group has asked both Prachanda and Bhattarai to vacate their top posts, as they have deviated from the party`s official line. Vaidya had rejected Maoist chief`s seven-point agenda for party unity. The dissident group`s meeting comes a day after Prachanda and Bhattarai called out to the dissident group for unity and discussions to sort out differences.

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