Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Seeds of disunion

Many different communist revolutionary ideologies evolved around the world from 1960, including within Nepal. In Nepal the Darbhanga Plenum - a meeting of the central committee of the communist party in 1961?is of particular importance.

In the meeting, three courses of action for the party emerged, a pro-constitutional monarchy line led by Keshar Jung Rayamajhi, a line that wanted to restore the dissolved parliament and launch broad mass movements led by Pushpa Lal Shrestha and a third line which favoured a constitutional assembly and an armed struggle, led by Mohan Bikram Singh.

When an election was held, the majority voted in support of Singh's line. However, the central committee refused to accept the result preferring the restoration of parliamentary democracy.

Right then part chairman Keshar Jung Rayamajhi was alleged to be close to the king. Rayamajhi was dismissed but a three-member committee was formed to hold the party convention within nine months. This case ended with a compromise among the members and the fight for power within the party also diminished. At that time I was elected a central committee member.

The party was banned in 1961 and most of the senior leadership stayed out of the country. Zonal committees were formed to operate it, although there were no provisions for this in the party constitution. A convention was held through an inter-zonal meeting, which was again against the constitution of the party. The trend of over-writing the constitution continued.

Already there were signs of the party splitting, but the key leaders ignored it. Kamar Shah, another party leader, and I tried to convince the senior leaders against division. Shrestha even went ahead to call for the next convention. But the chairs at the convention were empty. Some leaders were jailed while others boycotted it because of the clash of ideologies. This was the starting point of the party's split.

By the fourth party convention, the party had divided into two, with Rayamajhi heading one of the factions. I was appointed the general secretary. But there were allegations that Rayamajhi had helped arrest Sambhu Ram Shrestha and so his supporters left the party. At that time a demo had been called by pro-Panchayat leaders against Congress's BP Koirala. Rayamajhi agreed to join but I was against it because being against Koirala meant we were against democracy. He did not go but lobbyed against me in the party. His proposition against me received only two votes and he was kicked out from the party.

Differences in opinions and ideology have continually threatened the unity of the communist party of Nepal, culminating in countless communist parties that actually started as a single group.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)