The Maoist extended plenum, which concluded on Saturday, returned the political paper presented by Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to the central committee. It's clear even this extended gathering could not smoothen over the internal differences in the party. Vice chairmen Baburam Bhattarai and Mohan Baidya held different opinions on many of Dahal's policies. The triangular conflict within the Maoists remains and now the challenge for the Maoist leadership is to address this internal dispute and give the party a direction.
Concluding the plenum, Dahal announced that the party has a single goal and will go forward united. However, he has also admitted that the party is yet to resolve its internal differences.
At the week-long plenum, the leadership could not agree on the direction of the party or the party's stance on India. But they did pass a proposal to revolt if the peace process and constitution do not reach a logical conclusion, confusing their cadres as well as national politics. The Maoists have lost a chance to commit to an unconditional peace and the constitution. Baidya's belief that the party needs to go into revolt and Bhattarai's commitment to the path of the constitution may soon collide with Dahal's conditional line. This clash might manifest itself as the discussion on the paper starts in the central committee.
Differences of opinion are not unusual in a communist party, but ideological and personality clashes were also responsible for the intra-party conflict seen at Palungtar. However, it is positive to see that the party has adopted a democratic system internally, calling on all central and committee level party workers for a discussion. There are specific processes to resolve internal conflict in a party and now, the Maoists should call a general convention.